Everything you need to know about the 25th annual Hastings Bonfire

Hastings Bonfire returns on Saturday, October 19 with a day of free activities to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the spectacular event.

The Southern Skirmish Association will start the day with an American Civil War 1863 Artillery and Infantry display at the Harbour Arm and in the Old Town. There will be a colours parade at 11:30am, infantry and artillery walk through the Old Town at 12:30pm, an artillery display and drill on the Harbour Arm at 2pm (no firing), and a special 25th anniversary salute fire at 3pm.

Hastings Bonfire 2018. Photo by Frank Copper SUS-181014-094510001

Hastings Bonfire 2018. Photo by Frank Copper SUS-181014-094510001

Families are also invited to take part in a free Guy Making Competition, between 12:30pm and 3:30pm at the Stade Hall. Materials and help are provided and the competition is open to anyone under 16 (under 12s must be accompanied by an adult). There are fun prizes up for grabs, and participants will be able to see their Guy burn on the bonfire in the evening.


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At 7:15pm, the procession will form up on White Rock, between Robertson Street and the White Rock Hotel. There will be a ceremony at the America Ground, on the corner of Claremont and Robertson Street, before processing through the town centre and Old Town.

The route is as follows: White Rock > Robertson Street > Havelock Road > Harold Place > Denmark Place > Pelham Place > Marine Parade > East Parade > East Beach Street > Rock-a-Nore Road > All Saints Street > High Street > East Parade > Marine Parade > Pelham Place. These roads will be closed from approximately 6pm, and they will reopen around 10.30/11pm.

The bonfire and fireworks will be lit at approximately 9pm at the Pelham Place car park.

Organisers advise people not to bring pets or anyone of a nervous disposition, as the event can be loud. People are also asked not to pick up discarded torches and not to bring any fireworks. Visitors are asked to keep on the safe side of the barriers, listen to marshals and to not join or cut up the procession. Anyone who does so will be removed.

Visitors are also asked to download the What3Words app, which could help emergency services locate them if case of an emergency.

Hastings Bonfire is a large, free-to-attend event completely run by volunteers. There will be buckets circulating on the night where donations can be made to the event’s chosen charities.

Programmes can be purchased from the Tourist Information Centre or on the night for a suggested donation of £1.

For more information, see www.hbbs.info.


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