Firework championships
Fireworks light up the sky above Plymouth as part of the annual British Firework Championships in 2013Getty

The British Firework Championships are set to light up the night sky this evening as the annual competition takes place in Plymouth, Devon.

Six companies will compete in this year's competition: Shellscape Pyrotechnics, Blitz Fireworks, Northern Lights Fireworks, PYRO1, Reaction Fireworks and MLE Pyrotechnics.

The championships will take place on Tuesday 12 and Wednesday 13 August - with doors opening at 6.30pm and fireworks from 9.30pm.

The championships take place over two days and were started in 1997 by The Event Services Association, a trade body representing the outdoor events industry in the UK.

Firework championships
The two-day event, which incorporates firework displays designed by industry experts, is judged by a panelGetty

Plymouth was selected to host the event as it provides a natural amphitheatre where large-scale pyrotechnics can be used safely with the best possible view.

Every year, thousands of tourists flock to the city to watch the spectacular display, and the winner of each night will receive a prize of £2,000 while the winner of the overall competition will receive an additional £3,000.

Competitors each set off an estimated 10 tonnes of explosives.

Firework championships
Thousands of people are expected to witness the display by the UK's top pyrotechnics companiesGetty

In 1998, a World War II German bomb was discovered around 200m from where the championships were set to take place, according to BBC News.

Uncovered by a workman at a former RAF base, the find sparked a 17-hour operation at the Mountbatten site and the bomb was towed out to sea and detonated in a controlled explosion conducted by Royal Navy experts.

Firework championships
Six British companies will compete in the championships this yearGetty

The competition takes place depite adverse weather conditions, although in 2012, the judges decided not to select a winner after gale force winds limited the visibility of some of the firework displays.

Peter Smith, deputy leader of Plymouth council, said: "Britain's Ocean City is proud to be hosting the British Firework Championships now in its 18th year.

"Tens of thousands of people watch the show and it's one of the main highlights of the event calendar, and is one of the best firework shows in the UK."

Firework championships
The winner of each night will receive a price of £2,000 and the winner of the overall competition will receive an additional £3,000Getty

Star Fireworks won the re-run Champion of Champions event in 2013.