Sussex welcomes Bonfire night with open arms and, compared to the rest of the UK, celebrates it to the extreme. Be it the bonfires, fireworks or Guy Fawkes himself that takes your fancy, here’s our guide of places to be where you can ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’ to your heart’s content.
Lewes Bonfire Night
Sat 5 Nov
One of the largest events in the UK, bonfire night in Lewes is one you’ll never forget. With seven main societies marching through the town to their individual fire sites (bear in mind that some are ticketed), effigies of leading political and controversial figures are filled with explosives and blown up at the end of the evening. Last year’s spectacle was David Cameron and his porcine friend… we’ll leave that to your imagination. This year with Brexit, May and Trump’s presidential running, it’s certainly one to watch. If you’re planning on joining the fun, make sure you head down early to secure your spot. And if you’re going in by train, watch those strikes.
The Wizarding Fireworks Night
Sat 5 Nov
Fontwell Park Racecourse, Arundel
Wizards and witches unite for a fireworks spectacular – this magical-themed fireworks event is just around the corner. Fun for all the family can be had at this magical event with a fun fair, dodgems and game stalls. When the fireworks explode, the music of Harry Potter (amongst other magical hits) booms throughout the crowd, letting the magic really happen. Look out for an award-winning magician visiting each table to keep you guessing, and plenty of great food to get stuck in to. And get involved in their Grand Wizarding Fancy Dress Competition as you might be in with the chance to win a family ticket to Harry Potter World. So grab your hat and wave your wand!
Family Fireworks Spectacular
Sat 5 Nov
Nevill Road, Hove
Located opposite the Greyhound Stadium, Nevill Sports Ground hosts the 10th annual bonfire night event in Hove. The ticketed event is famous for its award-winning fireworks display presented to a musical soundtrack, so be sure to listen out for some familiar tunes. Head down early for a fire dance show before the fireworks begin, performed by Poi Passion. This year they’re also teaming up with Hangleton Food Bank to reach families that might not otherwise be able to enjoy the firework display.
Lindfield Bonfire Celebrations
Sat 5 Nov
This free event begins with a fancy dress competition at King Edward Hall in the town centre. Run in age categories, there’s space for all ages to flaunt their costumes for this year’s celebrations. After this, watch the procession around the village and on to the common for the reading of the Bonfire Prayers, lighting of the fire and a grand firework display to bookend the night. If you’re making a day of it, why not check out the Guy Building Competition in the afternoon, where locals have their homemade Guy Fawkes judged and, hopefully, the honour of being crowned 2016’s winner.
Rye Bonfire Night Celebrations
Sat 12th Nov
Slightly later in the calendar, Rye’s Bonfire Celebrations are ideal for those who might prefer something a little calmer than Lewes. The family-orientated event is located in the centre of the town with a jam-packed list of events throughout the evening. Rye Fawkes 2015 will be the fire-lighter for this year’s bonfire, in keeping with tradition. Fireworks are launched from 9pm from the far side of the moorings and some key viewing points include Hilder’s Cliff, and the back of The Queen’s Head pub.
Sat 12 Nov
Another family-friendly event welcomes all to the bonfire and fireworks display on Shoreham beach. Local figures, including Shoreham Allstars and fire/coastguards, will be there to keep spirits high and provide friendly faces to keep everyone amused. Plenty of food and drink is to be enjoyed alongside fun and games for kids, including face painting and a tea-cup ride. The event kicks off with a samba procession leading the crowd from Shoreham Beach Green down to the seafront. The event is free but donations are welcomed with open arms.