Forget the America’s January 6th insurrection, Guy Fawkes makes Donald Trump look like a rank amateur (to be fair this is a crowded field). His plot to assassinate all of the country’s MPs and Peers and the king in 1605 will go down as one of the most audacious failed plots to overthrow a government in history. Up there with Mark Thatcher. We celebrate the thwarted scheme with bonfires and fireworks each November 5th on Guy Fawkes night.
But not this year. Some of our favourite fireworks displays have been cancelled for 2021. With the exception of Hammersmith & Fulham, who cut the Bishop’s Park display claiming that due to covid they can’t hold a socially distanced outdoor event, many others are being up-front about economic pressures forcing them not to apply explode tens of thousands of pounds of taxpayer money into the crisp November sky. Blackheath has fallen prey to budget cuts, as has the annual events in Crystal Palace and Victoria Park.
But there are a few of outliers still willing to celebrate the saving of democracy, and we’re all invited.
Ally Pally’s annual firework display is uncancelably legendary. Not only is it a huge display, the views across the capital are nearly as stunning as the pyrotechnics.
Accompanying the fireworks, there’s promised light show not to mention one of the biggest bonfires in London. And that’s not all.
You can enjoy beer and sausages to the display, all to the soundtrack of live DJ sets...
The UK’s largest German Bier festival coincides with the celebrations, meaning you can enjoy beer and sausages to the display, all to the soundtrack of live DJ sets in the StrEATlife village.
Make the most of the experience with a few circuits of the ice rink before heading home.
When: Saturday 6th November
Where: Alexandra Palace Way, Muswell Hill, N22 7AY
Website: Get tickets here…
Wimbledon Park will host bonfire and fireworks night alongside a sister event over at Morden Hall Park (scroll down). The event, taking place on Friday 5th November will be split into a child-friendly event, lit at 6:30pm and accompanied by ‘child friendly fireworks’, and something decidedly more adult. But not like that.
Something decidedly more adult. But not like that...
The second fire will be lit at 8:30pm and will play out along with a fireworks display and soundtrack.
If your shopping addiction can’t even last an evening of fireworks then fear not, there will be a range of stalls and a bar along with a small funfair.
When: Friday 5th November
Where: Home Park Road, Wimbledon Park, SW19 8AU
Taking place on Thursday 4th November, the Chiswick Park ‘Fireworks Extravaganza’ is only open to pre-booked guests and, bizarrely, Virgin Active members. But if you’re able to score a ticket, or you’re a gym bunny, then you’re in for a treat.
The business park is hosting the event, an annual celebration with more chutzpah than any council-run/cancelled display.
An annual celebration with more chutzpah than any council-run/cancelled bonfire...
Expect a live band, fire performers, food and drink as well as the fireworks display to music. As seems to be the way this year, there are no tickets on the door, so make sure you book ahead.
When: Thursday 4th November
Where: 566 Chiswick High Road, Chiswick, W4 5YA
Pretty much the doyen of London fireworks displays, the whole of South West London eagerly anticipates the release of Battersea Park tickets.
This year the Wandsworth-based event is going ahead, with it’s Thames-side display generally regarded as one of the best in town. However, scoring tickets is famously tricky at the best of times, and with general sale starting a whole month ago it’s likely you may have missed your chance. However it’s always worth checking the site.
Including a bonfire and German ‘Bierkeller’ with a live band, beer hall and bumper cars...
If you can get in then you’ll have a two night extravaganza to grapple with, with Saturday night’s event including a bonfire and German ‘Bierkeller’ with a live band, beer hall and bumper cars. Sunday’s event will be fireless, replacing it with a light display and earlier child-friendly start time.
Of course if you can’t make it then there’s nothing stopping you heading to Chelsea Embankment to watch the whole thing for free…
When: Saturday 6th November and Sunday 7th November
Where: Battersea Park, Battersea, SW11 4NJ
There’s more to Morden than just the end of the Northern Line. Not least, Morden Park, the National Trust house and gardens and 2021 bonfire venue.
Run as a twin event to Wimbledon Park’s display, like it’s sibling there will be two bonfires and fireworks, the first timed for and aimed at children and the second for the grown-ups.
Children and grownups alike will no doubt enjoy the funfair that's going to be put on for the night
Children and grownups alike will no doubt enjoy the funfair that’s going to be put on for the night along with food stalls and a bar, presumably all the same ones that were at Wimbledon Park the night before.
When: Saturday 5th November
Where: Morden Hall Road, Morden, SM4 5JD
Beckenham Fireworks In The Park
Beckenham beckons with a family-friendly firework display that’s one of London’s best established (it’s been going since 1946 – presumably in the years before this the Germans provided adequate pyrotechnics).
The main event's at 7:45 and the professional fireworks display will light up South London...
Starting with a quieter display at 6pm for the kiddos (though still a bit ‘bangy’) the main event’s at 7:45 and the professional fireworks display will light up South London.
Punters can also enjoy facepainting and food stalls that’ll include burgers, jerk chicken, jacket potatoes, pulled pork, hot dog and ice cream as well as warming drinks.
When: Saturday 5th November
Where: Croydon Road Recreation Ground, Croydon Road, Beckenham, BR3 3PR