Rye Bonfire: Everything you need to know

Bonfire societies from across the county will be in Rye tonight (Saturday November 13) for the town’s bonfire celebrations.

Saturday, 13th November 2021, 4:35 pm
Rye Bonfire Procession 2019 (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-191111-115814008

A torchlit procession through the streets will make its way to The Salts where a giant bonfire will be lit and a fireworks display held.

Look out for Rye Bonfire Society’s fire breathing dragon Scorch in the procession.

All streets on the processional route in Rye town centre, including Cinque Ports Street, High Street, Mint and Udimore Road, will be closed to traffic from approximately 7.30pm - 9.30pm.

Rye Bonfire 2019. Photo by Jon Rigby SUS-191111-122557001

Please note that there is no parking on the processional route from 4.30pm.

From around 4.30pm, vehicular access to the town will be severely restricted and all vehicles are cleared from the processional route. Any vehicles on the procession route will be removed by recovery trucks.

For car parking, Gibbett Marsh car park is adjacent to the procession start point at Mason Road and situated off the Rye to Battle road B2089 (TN31 7BE).

Please Note – there is disabled parking concession for up to 20 vehicles (Blue Badge holders only) at the east end of what is normally the Coach Park adjacent to Rye Railway Station, approximately 300m from the bonfire site.

Rye Bonfire Procession 2019 (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-191111-115947008

The A259 Folkestone – Hastings trunk route will be closed at times between 8pm and 9.30pm to allow the procession and crowds to pass and will be subject to long delays at all other times. Please be aware that is unlikely that you will allowed out of your car park before about 10.30pm.

Motorists and HGV’s are therefore advised to use the M20/A28 Tenderten – Northiam route from Dover and Folkestone to Hastings and Eastbourne if traveling on the evening of 13 November.

A loud maroon will signal the start of the procession from Mason Road, Tilling Green Estate, at 7.50pm.

The route follows Ferry Road to the Crown Inn, turn left into Cinque Ports Street, Tower Street, through Landgate Arch, Hilders Cliff (East Cliff) in to High Street, The Mint, turn right into Wish Ward, Cinque Ports Street, Tower Street, left down Landgate, right into Bedford Place and on to the Bonfire site.

8.3pm sees the The Chairing Down of Rye Fawkes 2021, who will light the bonfire at 8.45pm. The Grand Fireworks Display takes place at 9pm.

Rye Bonfire Society receives no financial support from public funds in staging this event, which now costs over £10,000 a year to set-up and manage. All necessary funding is raised by voluntary contributions, program sales and advertising, fund-raising events and street collections on the night. Without the support of the town’s traders, citizens and visitors, the event could not take place. If you wish the Rye Bonfire to continue as the premier social event in the district’s calendar, please give generously.

A Bonfire Society spokesperson said: “Please do not purchase ‘glow bands’ or any other such merchandise from street traders, they are operating illegally, and we do not get any benefit from them. However, please feel free to make a donation to one of our official Rye Bonfire collectors on the night!

“Rye and District Bonfire Society would like to stress that this is very much a family-oriented evening. Discharging of any form of fireworks and flares will not be tolerated before, during, or after the procession. The Police will take action against members of the public, or visiting societies, who discharge any form of pyrotechnic in a public place. Please do not pick up discarded torches, that is the job for the firecarts at the rear of the procession.

“Marshals protect the whole route. If they advise you to move away, please follow their instructions, they are concerned about your safety.

“At the Fire Site, please remain outside of the barriers, it is dangerous inside. We cannot be held responsible for any loss or injury sustained by people crossing safety barriers.

“This is a traditiona Sussex custom, not a carnival or ordinary fireworks display, it can be loud and frightening, there will be fire and very loud bangs. Keep children with you and do not push them to the front. If you are nervous, worried, or have a medical condition, we respectfully suggest you keep away.”