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How To Celebrate Bonfire Night 2020 In Essex

By Katie Byrne – 11th April 2020
Bonfire Night Essex 2020

Baby, you’re a firework! Whilst your normal November 5th plans might involve heading to the local park or nearby stately home for a jaw-dropping display of beautiful fireworks, things will, of course, be a little different this year.

If you’re based in Essex – which odds are you will be, to be reading this post – then chances are that you’re already firmly aware of the various annual events that have already sadly postponed themselves due to the impact of COVID-19, with the impact further heightened by Essex entering Tier Two restrictions in early October.

Gone are huge gatherings, complete with collective ‘oohs!’ and ‘ahhs!’ rippling across the audience as a firework shoots across the sky above. Gone is the degree of spontaneity that allows you to make last-minute plans and purchase on-the-gate tickets. Gone is the slightly odd tradition of watching a ceremonial ‘Guy’ be marched to a massive bonfire to meet his fate on the flames. Gone, gone, gone.

But don’t despair! Of course, global pandemics and firework-hungry crowds do not exactly make for the most harmonious of combinations but that’s not to say that there isn’t still a selection of need-to-know events taking place across the county that you and your family can enjoy.

Read on to discover a few of our picks taking place across the county – and if you’ve got any tips of your own, please share them with me on Instagram!

Must-See November 2020 Firework Displays In Essex

Skyrocket Drive In – Old Ipswich Road, Ardleigh (off the A12)

6th and 7th November

Strap in for a wow-worthy firework display that can be enjoyed from the comfort (and warmth!) of your car. Bring your own snacks or enjoy the range of food and drink stalls that will be available to peruse on-site.

Find out more: skyrocketdrivein.com/find-us-fireworks-colchester

Toddlers’ Fireworks Display – Barleylands Farm Park, Billericay

5th – 8th November

A family-friendly display that’s tipped to be as wow-worthy for tots as it is for adults, set at the must-visit Barleylands.

Find out more: barleylands.co.uk/events

Guy Fawkes’ Festival & Fireworks – Royal Gunpowder Mills, Waltham Abbey

7th and 8th November

Combining fireworks with a dose of history and science, this action-packed event offers everything from the theatrical The Ghost Of Guy Fawkes to a deep-dive into the history of the Royal Gunpowder Mills. Something for all the family!

Find out more: royalgunpowdermills.com/event/guy-fawkes-festival-and-fireworks

Drive-In Firework Spectacular – King’s Farm, Chelmsford

7th and 8th November (gates open from 5pm)

Stay cosied up inside your car or bring chairs to soak up the sparkling atmosphere – however you choose to enjoy the Drive-In Firework Spectacular, get ready to be seriously dazzled! A pop-up street food festival will also be on-site to keep rumbling tummies at bay – hello, hot dogs and hog roasts…

Find out more: motorshowevents.com/drive-in-fireworks-display

Marsh Farm Family Fireworks – South Woodham Ferrers

5th – 7th November

Combining fireworks with funfair rides – and all against the backdrop of a history-rich farmyard setting – the Marsh Farm Family Fireworks promises good old-fashioned family fun, with access to entertainment and shows also available on the all-inclusive ticket price.

Find out more: marshfarm.co.uk/events/family-fireworks

Aren’t able to make it out?

Don’t forget to consider these Bonfire Night ideas for your very own home-held November 5th celebration…

  • Cook up a traditional Bonfire Night feast: we’re talking jacket potatoes, toffee apples, marshmallows on skewers… You know the (delicious) drill. And have you heard of Parkin Cake? It’s a November 5th classic that was born up North – why not try it out for yourself?
  • Can’t get tickets to an event – but still want to enjoy a show? With Bonfire Night events across Essex drastically reduced this year, there’s obviously a shortage of tickets available – meaning in turn that you might not be able to book. But don’t fret! Consider if there are any ‘vantage points’ where you live; public spaces, such as fields or open parks that can offer views across shows and allow you to enjoy them in a socially distanced fashion.
  • Choose sparklers for garden-based fun. Okay, they aren’t exactly Catherine Wheels – but if you can’t get out but want to have your very own fireworks display, consider buying sparklers. There’s even a hack involving carrots that can make them that bit safer for little ones to hold, too.
  • Look for firework alternatives. Whether you’ve got nervous pets, sleeping children or simply don’t like the relentless NOISE! that comes with a public firework display, you might want to consider firework alternatives for some home-based fun. Think different: confetti poppers (okay, still a bit loud), glowsticks and strobe light displays can all add up to fuss-free family fun that doesn’t involve leaving your living room.


Whatever you’ve got planned – or are planning – for November 5th, have a spectacular time!


Katie x

Katie Byrne Essex
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