Firework night success story
Friends of Pangbourne Primary School in Berkshire have
been running their Firework Fiesta since 1997. Their secretary,
Karen Ward, shares her success of running a fireworks display at
'The event was started by a parent mum whose husband did the
training for firework displays and he had a group of friends who
always helped. It has always been a school event, although we have
had valuable support over the years from our local Rotary and also
from the Lions, who regularly provide marshalls. We often have
teachers helping, and governors and the head teacher on hand to
support the fundraising. On the day we have around 10-15 marshalls
and another 20-30 people on the stalls and gates.
We are very lucky and grateful to have a parent dad who has
trained and run the display for us from the start. We get lots of
compliments every year and the display usually lasts 20-25 minutes.
We spend around £2000 each year on professional grade fireworks. St
John's Ambulance cost around £200 per event. £20 diesel to light
the bonfire. These are the main costs as we are very lucky to own a
lot of equipment allowing us to host and run these events in
We have a large bonfire which is usually lit 30 minutes before
the fireworks and has to die down before the fireworks can be lit.
Once the event is established the wood tends to just arrive.
Families, businesses with wood and pallets* all
come forward - we have had whole Sheds, you name it over the years!
We try to just get the wood delivered as late a possible/on the
morning of the event, however, it never works that easily and we
always have to move it around. Takes around 3 hours to build the
bonfire and the Brownies or Guides often supply a Guy to go on the
top! The biggest thing with a bonfire on the school site is
clearing the debris the next day when the embers have cooled down.
All the ash/metal workings needs raking and removing from the
school field and putting into bins. This can be a very long job
depending on how many volunteers come on the day after the event.
Luckily the grass does recover in time for Sports Day!
Our barbeque is very successful and we sell West Berkshire Beer
each year, mulled wine and soft drinks which go down well. We did
try selling jacket potatoes one year, however they were difficult
to eat standing up, need cutlery and were generally less
successful. Glow toys and a Tombola contribute towards profits too.
We run some games for kids to keep them entertained before the
firework display and last year we also had a Fire Spinner
demonstration, which went down a storm!
We started off selling paper tickets through school and in 2
local shops, however 2 years ago introduced Paypal and payments
online which has made the ticketing and payment process much
easier. We have always made tickets in advance cheaper than payment
on the day - £10 for adults, £7.50 for age 12 and over and FREE for
children under 12. We make roughly £5,000 profit each year'
*NOTE: Please be aware that pallets or other
wood that has been marked/branded with the letters MB should not be
burned, as it has been treated with Methyl Bromide, which when
burnt, releases toxic smoke dangerous to you and the
Have you run a fireworks display at school? Want to share any
advice? Drop the editorial
team an email.
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