We love bonfire night and are so lucky to have a wonderful bonfire fireworks where we live that we never really go further afield; that is until we all went down with Covid and missed them. So I did look further afield this year and remembered last year on a night in Winchester whereby we accidentally went out on bonfire night (so engrained it is that our fireworks are always the week before).
Not only is this event really, really well run but, it is epic on so many levels. We couldn't make a whole day of it in Winchester as we had commitments but you really could as there is a lot to do and nice places to eat for example. But the evening all in all is about 3 hours long, so does feel like a big night out with the family.
The night starts on the broadway near King Alfred's Statue, there is a brass band, and many hand torch sellers where you can buy waxed hand torch lanterns to carry flame around the city as you make your way to the bonfire grounds. This is the lantern parade and really gives you an excitable build up to the big event.
When you reach the grounds there are many food items and bars for drinks and enough toilets where you didn't have to queue for long at all. The Mayor then lights the bonfire and while that is taking hold music is playing, it feels like a music festival and excites the children even more.
The fireworks as you can imagine for a big city were spectacular and the party atmosphere remains once they have finished. I think we have found another family tradition to add to the mix and I am so glad our local ones will hopefully never clash.
Many thanks to the Winchester Round Table for putting on such a great event.