Manchester’s iconic Bonfire Night park displays are cancelled

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Manchester City Council has confirmed all major public Bonfire Night firework displays will not be going ahead this year, blaming escalating costs.

A combination of factors, including increased safety measures, aspirations to be ‘a net zero carbon city by 2038’ and pressure on council budgets, have led to the decision being made just three weeks before Bonfire Night.

They are now looking at ‘reprioritising budgets’, gearing up for more family-oriented activities through the winter months and providing support for residents through the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.

Events have previously been held in eight locations across the city, including Heaton Park, Platt Fields, Cringle Park, Debdale Park and Wythenshawe Park.

In a statement posted to Twitter, Counsellor Lee-Ann Igbon said: “It is with great reluctance that we’re announcing that council-organised bonfire events will not be taking place this year. Manchester is one of the only major cities that continues to host council-organised fireworks and bonfire events.

“Bonfire events haven’t taken place in the city since 2019 and we have decided to hold that position this year. This is not a decision we have taken lightly and I know that many people will be disappointed.”

The full statement from the Council states: “Manchester City Council has announced that council-organised bonfire events will not be reintroduced in Manchester Parks this year, following a two-year lay-off during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“A combination of factors, including the escalating costs of delivering large bonfire events, increasing safety and organisational measures needed and increased pressure on Council budgets have ultimately led to the decision.

“The Council will assess the impact of this year’s events not going ahead as part of a review into the approach to future bonfire events.

“The Council is reprioritising its neighbourhoods funding to focus on a program of community events and activities throughout the winter focussing on fun, free activities for families and young people.”

While such a loss will leave some scrambling, Rochdale, Salford City, and Oldham councils have all confirmed their plans are still going ahead, and private events will still be taking place.

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James Swindell

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