Manchester City Council has once again announced that council-organised bonfire night events will not be reintroduced in Manchester Parks this year. The council’s own firework display taking place in Heaton Park will also not be reintroduced this year, and last year the event did not take place following a two-year lay-off during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Hosting an array of large-scale events every single year for the community to enjoy, bonfires that usually take place at the likes of Heaton Park, Platt Fields Park, Cringle Park and Debdale Park will not go ahead, with no alternatives planned for this year’s Guy Fawkes Night.
Manchester City Council confirmed the news saying the cancellation of bonfire night events are due to “rising costs” and “pressure on budgets”. However, during the autumn, a number of free, family fun, council-run events and activities will take place including Halloween in the City as well as exhibitions and events at the city’s libraries and museums. Family-focused events will continue to the end of the year with Festive Sundays and the Christmas parade as well as a continued programme of family activity across the city’s parks.
Councillor Lee Ann Igbon, Executive Member for Vibrant Neighbourhoods, said: “As Halloween and Bonfire Night approach, we want to remind residents that council-organised bonfire events will again not be taking place in our parks this year.
“We have looked carefully at the cost benefit of putting on these huge bonfire events and with the continuing rising costs and pressure on our budgets, we feel that our focus, like last year, should be on delivering a bespoke programme of autumn and winter park activities for local communities starting with half-term in late October.
“We received positive feedback from delivering smaller scale events in parks, that concentrated on what local communities wanted, last year and we will continue to do the same again this year.
“We want to support families through the cost-of-living crisis and feel that this is much better way to target resources by providing a programme of events, whether that is sports and physical activity, arts and crafts, educational activities or initiatives that provide free or low-cost food, that are relevant and meaningful to residents in their local neighbourhoods.
“We will continue to work with our partners to ensure that all our residents stay safe this season.”
The council’s evaluation from last year showed that not having large bonfire events did not cause any demonstrable increase in anti-social behaviour on the key weekends and it will be working with partner agencies to promote the safety messages to prevent anti-social behaviour in the run up to and during Halloween and Bonfire Night. As part of this work, the council will also offer an emergency bonfire removal service on bonfire builds of significant concern that are not on privately owned land.
The last time bonfire displays were held at Manchester parks was pre-Covid in 2019, but these will not return in 2023. Last year, the only organised firework display which took place in Manchester was an event at the new urban park,Mayfield Park, which is yet to confirm its return this year.