Thousands expected at bonfire spectacular
BONFIRE season is here again and Hastings takes centre stage on Saturday night.
The premier autumn event had an incredible 50,000 turnout for the torchlit procession, bonfire and fireworks display last year and a similar crowd is once again expected.
The bonfire, now in its ninth year, is always an impressive sight with hundreds of bonfire boyes from across Sussex taking part to create a fiery atmosphere in this Hastings Week event.
The procession starts at The Stade at 7.30pm and goes up All Saints Street, down High Street, along the seafront, up Albert Road and Queens Road to Marks & Spencer. The hundreds of men, women and children in the parade then turn back and go along Robertson Street, before turning back down the seafront to the bonfire site on the beach opposite the Carlisle pub.
The bonfire, lit about 9pm, itself is always one of the biggest in Sussex, being about 40 feet high, wide and deep. Following that is the fireworks display, which never fails to amaze.
Jeff Davis has taken over from Keith Leech as chairman of Hastings Borough Bonfire Society and reminded people of the good the bonfire does.
He said: "Apart from the ceremony and tradition of bonfire, it is important to remember that Hastings Borough Bonfire Society is a registered charity, involved in raising money for local charities. Indeed, all money raised in our procession will go to local charities, and over the past eight years we have been able to donate thousands of pounds to deserving causes.
Kevin Boorman, marketing chief at the council, said: "It's the biggest event we deal with. We had about 50,000 people last year and we expect a similar turnout this year."
Pelham Place car park will be closed on the night because it is the site of the fireworks display, although all other car parks in the area will be open.
The A259 will be closed between 7.30pm and 9.30pm with other roads on the route will close as the procession passes.