With just a few days to go until Plymouth’s Bonfire Night, plans are in place for the city to host a family evening of fireworks, fun, entertainment and most of all…a bonfire!
Taking place on Saturday 5 November on Plymouth Hoe the evening celebrations will begin at 5pm when fairground rides and catering stands open.
The presenters of Radio Plymouth will keep visitors entertained on Plymouth’s bonfire night with an exciting music programme from 6pm on the stage which will be located on the grassed area near the Royal Citadel.
Located on the grass area by the Smeaton’s Tower Lighthouse, timber provided by Babcock will create the bonfire which will brighten the dark skies and provide warmth for the evening. The bonfire will be lit at 7.30pm.
Creating a cosy atmosphere, visitors can gather around the fire with hot chocolate, tea, coffee and hot food that can be purchased from the many catering stands that will be available.
A fantastic firework display will also take place for Plymouth’s bonfire night with Pyrovision setting off an assortment of rockets, fountains and firecrackers from the Royal Citadel at 8pm.
Plymouth City Council’s cabinet member for culture, Councillor Glenn Jordan, said: “With Bonfire Night falling on a Saturday this year the event on the Hoe is sure to go off with a bang.
“It’s a wonderful location for everyone to gather to watch the fireworks and with our giant bonfire, food and entertainment it’s going to be a night to remember.
“It’s a truly family event and a favourite with mums, dads, grandparents and children every year. All they need to do is wrap up warm, bask in the heat of the giant bonfire and enjoy the show.”
Visitors to The Hoe on Plymouth’s Bonfire Night are encouraged to plan their journeys in advance and use public transport wherever possible. Disabled parking will be available on the Hoe for those displaying a blue badge. This can be accessed via the Elliot Street entrance from 5.30pm.
In celebration, here are a few fireworks facts to help you to impress your friends and family!
Thousands of years ago a group of Chinese scientists accidentally mixed together chemicals to make an early form of gunpowder This was stuffed into old bamboo stalks and thrown into a fire to make a loud bang. These were thought to be the first fireworks. The Chinese then used this invention to scare away their enemies and evil spirits. Then in the 1830s Italian inventors invented a special casing which let them fire fireworks into the air. They also came up with ways to mix in different metallic powders to create different coloured explosions.
Now of course we are a lot more sophisticated. In fact, the fireworks that you will see in the skies above Plymouth will be some of the very best displays in the whole world, not just on Bonfire night – but for the national Fireworks Competition every year. The city really has become known for it.
Quick Firework Facts
The earliest documentation of fireworks dates back to 7th century China. They were invented more than 2000 years ago in China.
China is the largest manufacturer and exporter of fireworks in the world. 90% of all fireworks originate from here.
Firework rockets can reach speeds of 150mph when they are set off.
The reason why you can see a firework explode before you can hear the bang, is because light travels much faster than sound. Sound travels at a speed of 761mph, but light travels at 671,000,000mph.
The very first fireworks display in England took place at Henry VII’s wedding to Elizabeth of York in 1486. The wedding was a pretty big deal because Henry and Elizabeth came from two families, the Lancasters and the Yorks, who had been fighting for many years. When the two married it brought peace to the two houses and stopped the fighting.
Another Royal who loved fireworks was Queen Elizabeth I, who even created an honorary title, “Fire Master of England” for the person who created the best fireworks.
The biggest ever fireworks explosion was in Japan in 2014, and smashed the records for using the world’s heaviest firework! Weighing in at a staggering 460kg – that’s about the same weight as a fully grown polar bear! – the firework created a beautiful rosette of light which was 800 metres across.
The title for the most fireworks used in a single display goes to the Norwegians who used a whopping 540,382 fireworks! The firework display lasted for one and a half hours. 15,272 fireworks weren’t counted because they didn’t light.
The biggest annual fireworks display event in Europe is the International Festival concert held in Edinburgh, Scotland, in which a million fireworks are set off in less than an hour.
At first fireworks were only orange and white. In the Middle Ages new colours were achieved by adding different salts. The hardest colour to create is blue.
A string of firecrackers that went on and on lasting 22 hours marked the New Years day celebrations in Hong Kong in 1996.