THIS weekend will go off with a bang, with numerous firework displays set to light up the skies of West Berkshire.
The Lions Club of Newbury is gearing up for its annual charity display at Newbury Racecourse on Saturday.
The racecourse fireworks, as they have become known, have been held for more than 35 years and provide much-needed funds that Lions distribute throughout the year to local people in need.
The club says it is determined to make this year’s event the best yet, despite increasingly complex safety requirements and reduced volunteer numbers.
Celebrating 100 years of Lions clubs around the world, the display will be set to music from 1917 to the present day, remembering some of the important world events during that time.
The club said: “We hope everyone will come along and enjoy this year’s event, but we need to remember that this is about raising much-needed funds for our welfare work.
“Many more people are now living at the racecourse and can see the fireworks from the comfort of their own home and we know that others watch the display from outside the venue.
“If those people have enjoyed the display, I want to encourage them to make a donation via mydonate.bt.com
“Every little donation really does help us to carry on helping those who need it most.”
Gates open at 5.30pm to give time to get food and drinks and to enjoy the funfair. The display starts at 7.30pm and will last about half an hour.
Please be advised that there will be bag searches on arrival.
To make a donation, visit mydonate.bt.com and search for Lions Club of Newbury.
To help at this year’s event or to find out more about volunteering with the Lions contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0845 8334754.
There are plenty of other displays across the area this weekend.
St Gabriel’s School will be holding its display tonight (Friday), organised by the school’s parent teacher association.
Food will be served from 6.30pm, with the bonfire being lit at 7pm and the fireworks commencing at 7.15pm.
Tickets can be ordered at www.tickettailor.com
Meanwhile, Falkland Cricket Club will be holding its display at the Bowler’s Arms in Enborne Street, Wash Common, on bonfire night (Sunday).
Gates open at 5.30pm, with the bonfire lit at 6.30pm followed by fireworks.
Car parking is limited and costs £5 and organisers are encouraging people not to drive to the event. Admission is £5 for adults and free for under-fives.
Chieveley’s display will also be held on November 5 and children are encouraged to enter the Guy competition.
Gates open at 6.15pm and the deadline for entering Guys is 6.30pm, ahead of judging at 6.45pm.
A torchlight procession of Guys to the bonfire sets off at 7pm, lighting the bonfire at 7.15pm before the main display at 7.45pm.
Chieveley’s display claims to be the longest-running village display in the UK, dating back to the 1960s.
Tickets are available at the village stores or at www.tickettailor.com
The Friends of Kingsclere School will hold its annual fireworks display at the Fieldgate Centre on Saturday, November 4.
There will be entertainment by the local dance group Feel the Beat before the fireworks start.
Refreshments will be available, including a barbecue (vegetarian option available) and bar.
The gates open at 5.30pm, the bonfire will be lit at 6pm and the fireworks start at 6.30pm.
A member of the organising committee, Rachel Knight, said: “The event is based around a choreographed, professional-grade fireworks display set to music, and this year’s fireworks will be even bigger and better than ever.”
Tickets can be purchased in advance at the discounted price of £5 for adults and £3 for children under the age of 16.
Alternatively, tickets are available on the night priced at £7 for adults and £4 for under-16s.
They can be purchased from Budgens (Shell garage), Swan Street Stores, The Village Butchers or Kingsclere Primary School.
All money raised will provide much-needed support for Kingsclere Primary School, supplying equipment and extra curricular opportunities.
Bucklebury’s Cottage Inn bonfire and fireworks night will be held on Saturday, November 11.
Gates open at 6pm and the bonfire will be lit at 7.30pm, with the main display starting at 8pm.
Family tickets are £14 in advance or £17 on the gate. Single tickets cost £6 in advance or £7 on the gate and children under five go free.
Tickets will be available behind the bar on the night, and parking is available at the memorial and church hall car parks.