20+ Firework displays in Sussex 2019
Ka-boom! Celebrate bonfire night and beyond across Sussex with our round-up of some of the most popular events
Whoosh… oooh… ahhh. This weekend to next and beyond, the skies will be lit up with rockets. Of course in Sussex fireworks night is not just for Nov 5th (or the nearest Saturday), with many bonfire societies holding their own historic events with torchlit parades and displays throughout the month. The season also neatly coincides with Diwali, the Hindu festival of light. Here’s a round up of some of the big events. Also check your local schools, some of which have fundraising bashes.
Do double-check timings on the websites and social media as they sometimes change especially due to bad weather. Bonfire society events with processions have particularly approximate timings for the fireworks start.
Space Flight Fireworks Night, Fontwell Park Racecourse, Fontwell, near Arundel, Sat 2 Nov
Fontwell Park is well known for its annual themed firework display. This year it’s all about space flight. This is also the place to do fireworks in style. As well as a spacious regular viewing area there’s a Premier Lounge balcony option which means you can get a table for the evening and a warm buffet with the likes of chilli and sausage and mash. Planning a group outing? Ask about upgrading to a private suite!
Horsham Rugby Club Bonfire and Fireworks, Sat 2 Nov
Music, food stalls, a hog roast, funfair and face painting are part of the festivities at this event, with individual tickets £10, family tickets £30 on the night (discounted in advance till 1 Nov)
The Nevill Fireworks, Nevill Avenue, Hove, Sat 2 Nov
This one’s choreographed to music by Brightfire Pyrotechnics for extra wows. There’ll be food stalls, glow sticks and all the malarky. Tickets on the gate on the night are adults £12, 3-15s £6. They’re also at The Book Nook and Wigwam while stocks last.
Battel Bonfire Boyes Guy Fawkes Celebrations, Battle, Sat 2 Nov
Battle claims the oldest bonfire society and proceedings start with a maroon let off at 06.00 (yes, really). There’s a children’s guy and fancy dress competition in the morning and the procession starts 19.45 with the bonfire and fireworks after on Abbey Green.
Wadhurst Fireworks, Stonecross Farm, Wadhurst, Sat 2 Nov
A bar and BBQ will help the festive atmosphere, the bonfire lighting is due around 18.30, fireworks an hour later. Adults £7, under 16s £3, under 5s free. Tickets available from locals shops and the White Hart Pub. No parking on site.
Cuckfield Bonfire, Sat 2 Nov
There’s a bonfire featuring children’s guys followed by a fireworks display to music at Cuckfield Park and the chance to get stuck into a hog roast, doughnuts and more. Proceeds suport local charities.
Barnham Fireworks, near Bognor Regis, Sat 2 Nov
There will be fire and LED juggling demos and live music and Spirit FM will be broadcasting from this charity event at Murrell’s Field. The fireworks will happen sometime between 19.00 and 20.00.
Newick Bonfire Night, Sat 2 Nov
Proceedings at Newick kick off with a bonfire breakfast and the chance to enter a guy competition. Come the evening fancy dress entrants will be judged. Grab a programme (£2) for the timings from local shops and pubs.
Brighton Lions Firework Display, Brighton Racecourse, Sun 3 Nov
One of the biggest displays on the South Coast, organised by the Lions and running for around half an hour. There will be food and drink stalls and a good view to be had either milling on the grass or perched on the grandstand seating. Tickets are £12 for adults, £6 for under 16s, £30 for a family of four. Free parking on a first come first served basis – so get there early. Gates open 18.00 show starts 19.30.
Robin Hood Bonfire Society, Ickelsham, Sun 3 Nov
This family-focused event kicks off earlier than many with the procession around 17.30 and fireworks 18.30. Tickets on the gate for cash are £3 for adults and £2 for children.
Lewes Bonfire, various sites across town, Tues 5 Nov
The bonfire society tradition dates back three centuries and Lewes is the biggie, of course, with huge burning effigies of whoever’s most in the political doldrums (hmm, we can’t begin to guess…) Up to 30 visiting bonfire societies from around Sussex with marching bands converge. Festivites start around 17.00 and end around one the next morning. The biggest parade is around 21.00 and there are various firework sites around town. Don’t be freaked out by the burning crosses – they represent 17 martyrs burned in Lewes in the 16th century. Expect huge crowds and do plan your entrance and exit well ahead as the town’s pretty much in car and public transport lock down for the event these days.
Worthing Lions free fireworks festival, Tues 5 Nov
It’s one of Sussex’s biggest displays, it’s on the seafront and it’s free (though play fair and put a donation in the buckets). There’s a market in Steyne Gardens from 10.00 to 22.00 then the fireworks themselves will start roughly 19.30 from the pier.
Fireworks with Night Golf for Kids, Manning Heath, Golf and Wine Estate, Near Horsham, Tues 5 Nov
Here’s a show with a difference. Kids can have fun practising their golf swing on the illuminated night golf course while adults get stuck into the BBQ and outdoor bar. There’s then a fireworks display and live music. £8 adults, £2 children.
Lindfield Bonfire Society, Tues 5 Nov
A lovely, free event with a torch procession to the village common then fireworks. This year marks the society’s 125th anniversary. There’s a fancy dress competition before and a charity collection during the event.
Sussex Cricket Fireworks Night, County Cricket Ground, Hove, Tues 5 Nov
Another of the popular organised displays, in the spacious surrounds of the cricket ground and it supports a couple of charities. Adults £10, Under 16s £5 or you can pay extra for a decked viewing area.
Preston Park, Brighton, Fri Nov 8
Postponed from 1 Nov due to bad forecast weather, Preston Park has a free firework show starting 20.00 with a fun fair on site. You can watch from a fairly wide area but don’t expect to be able to park nearby.
Rye Bonfire, Rye Town Centre, Sat 9 Nov
The usual bonfire society format of a procession through the town, then the ’chairing down’ of ‘Rye Fawkes’ before the fireworks. Check the route and approximate timings on the link.
Chailey Bonfire Society, Sat 9 Nov
Events, between 17.00 and 21.00, include judging of floats, a procession and the laying of a war memorial wreath, then bonfire lighting, with fireworks happenings approximately 20.00.
Illuminate Fireworks Extravaganza, Willingdon Community School, Fri 8 Nov
Food, music, stalls, games and a display by Frontier Fireworks. Adults £6, Children £4, Families £18. Book in advance.
Steyning Fireworks, Steyning Primary School, Sat 9 Nov
A fairground, live music, DJ and the usual food stalls will support this event on the 9th – handy if you missed the glut of displays the weekend before.
Barcombe Bonfire, Sat 16 Nov
One of the later bashes. Buy a £2 programme locally for the details.
Robertsbridge Bonfire Society, Sun 17 Nov
Not till Sat 16 Nov, Robertsbridge has a make-a-guy competition in the afternoon, the procession then forms on the seafront at White Rock at 18.30, it incorporates a beacon lighting then a bonfire lighting with fireworks scheduled for after 21.00. Want to get involved? There are volunteer torch-making sessions on 2 and 3 Nov.
NEARBY SURREY AND KENT
Lingfield Fireworks Extravaganza, Lingfield Park Racecourse, Fri 1 Nov
Plenty of food and drinks stalls, bonfire and fireworks display. £6 adults, £3.50 children.
Horley Town Bonfire and Fireworks, Horley Lions Club, Sat 2 Nov
A BBQ bar will be serving burgers, hot dogs, bacon and egg rolls and hot and cold drinks, there will also be a small fun fair.
Adult £5, child £3, family (2 adults, 3 children) £15.
Tunbridge Wells Fireworks, Dunorlan Park, Sat 2 Nov
The most popular firework event in Tunbridge Wells. Gates open at 17:30 for rides for children and food and drink stands. Fireworks will start around 19.00. Adult tickets from £6 and Children’s tickets from £4 (under 5s free).
Edenbridge Bonfire Night, Sat 2 Nov
Kent’s most famous bonfire celebration features two 10m tall effigies, a torch lit carnival procession and fireworks. The procession, from 18.30, features brightly lit floats, costumed walking parties and marching bands. There will also be fairground rides, stalls and a DJ at the fireworks.
Hawkhurst Gang Bonfire Society, Sat 23 Nov
There’ll be a bonfire and fireworks on the King George V Playing Field, The Moor, with a procession from the Royal Oak pub from 19.00.