Fireworks are back for 50th anniversary year
DOWNEND'S traditional fireworks display is back after a year away – and organisers are planning to make it the "best one yet".
The area's biggest outdoor event of the year, which regularly attracts up to 10,000 people, will return to the King George V playing fields on Bonfire Night, Friday November 5.
Organisers Downend Round Table had to cancel the event last year because the coronavirus pandemic and social distancing rules meant it was not viable.
But with restrictions now removed, they are preparing to return for the event's 50th anniversary year.
Fireworks chairman Paul Wells said: "It's a big deal for us – it's a significant milestone.
"Because of the nature of the club (whose members are all men aged 45 and under), everyone involved now was not around for the first one, but there is pride in the history and the continued support of causes in Downend as a result of the fireworks."
The event is set to feature two displays to music, including an early child-friendly display, a bonfire and children's party entertainment, as well as a licensed bar from Hambrook-based Great Western Brewing Company.
More details of what people can expect at this year's display will be revealed closer to the event but Paul said: "We've some ideas to make this display the best one yet."
The 2019 display was badly affected by the weather and also suffered from being in the half-term holidays, when many families had gone away.
Even so, it raised £6,000 for local charities, although in a "good year" the event will raise around £20,000.
In a usual year Round Table nominates a main charity to receive a big slice of the proceeds, with the rest going to a fund to make donations to a wide range of smaller local causes through the year.
This year all of the money raised will go to the local fund, which has recently helped local scout and guide groups and Christians Against Poverty, which provides support and advice to get people out of debt.
Paul said: "We wanted to be more representative of the local area and responsive to requests."
Unlike previous years, tickets will not be on sale in local shops this year.
Instead advance tickets will be sold online, with details on the Downend Round Table Fireworks Facebook page from September 24.
Anyone who is not online will still be able to buy a ticket at the gate on the night.
More details about Downend Round Table can be found on the group's Facebook page or at downendrt.co.uk.