THE wait is almost over as Tamworth’s free fireworks event returns with a bang TOMORROW, Saturday, November 3.
Celebrating its 10th anniversary year, the town’s biggest and most popular annual event includes an evening of fun for the whole family, including the spectacular display of fireworks.
Entertainment begins at 5pm and includes fire performers, face painting, a sparkler zone, family activities, artisan food stalls and a fair. This year the spectacular display of fireworks will start at the earlier time of 7pm, as voted for by members of the public in an overwhelming response to a recent online poll.
Organised by Tamworth Borough Council’s Arts & Events team, the annual extravaganza has become a firm favourite in the town’s annual calendar of events and has attracted upwards of 25,000 people in recent years. This year is expected to be no exception.
Due to the event’s increasing popularity, visitors are asked to plan ahead and be patient when travelling to the town centre and moving in and out of the main arena.
People are advised to walk or use public transport where possible and to arrive in plenty of time for the fireworks as some footpaths around the area will close during the display for safety reasons.
There are a few operational changes this year which have been designed to help ease the flow of people exiting the event, so visitors are asked to look out for signs and follow instructions from the stewarding team.
Some key points to be aware of include:
- People driving to the event are asked to park responsibly and in accordance with traffic orders as enforcement may be carried out by Staffordshire County Council for public safety and traffic flow purposes where vehicles are illegally parked.
- As a word of warning, double yellow lines also count towards the grass verge / footpath. Parking on the pavement or verge does not only make it difficult for other road users and pedestrians, it causes damage to the verges.
- Parking will be free from 5pm at all Tamworth Borough Council car parks. There are plenty located throughout the town centre and near the Castle Grounds. Please note that this does not apply to the car park operated by NCP on the site of the former Gungate Precinct. All council-run cark parks can be viewed on a map here: www.tamworth.gov.uk/car-parks.
- The Tamworth fireworks spectacular is sponsored by Ankerside Shopping Centre which is also offering free parking in the Apcoa multi-storey car park from 5pm. Visitors won’t need to take a ticket from the entry barrier after 5pm – they can drive straight in and then out once the display has finished. There will be no access into Ankerside Shopping Centre itself from 6pm, so visitors will need to return to the car park via alternative routes after the display.
- The Namco car park off Riverdrive will be closed between around 7pm and 7.30pm. This is to allow the safe exit of pedestrians leaving the Castle Grounds arena. This means anyone parked in the Namco car park will not be able to leave until around 7.30pm. The exit road from the Snowdome car park, which leads under Riverdrive and into the Namco car park, will also be closed.
- This year the main Castle Grounds lower lawn arena and nearby black gates will all be opened up to assist the flow of people, but pedestrians are asked to be patient when waiting to cross bridges and be careful when crossing roads in the area.
- Some roads and footpaths around the Castle Grounds will be closed, or partially closed, for safety reasons during the display and until crowds have dispersed. This includes Riverdrive, Anker Drive and footpaths around ‘the Egg’ roundabout. A map of the road closures for pedestrians and vehicles can be downloaded from: www.tamworthartsandevents.co.uk/fireworks-extravaganza and can be seen below.
Cllr John Chesworth, Tamworth Borough Council’s Cabinet member for Culture and Operational Services, said: “The annual Tamworth fireworks display is a fantastic event and we’re delighted to be able to host this every year for thousands of people to enjoy free of charge. The event is celebrating its 10thanniversary and has become really popular with Tamworth residents and visitors to the area over the past decade.
“The event has attracted up to 25,000 people in some years and obviously there is quite a lot involved in the logistics of getting everyone in and out safely. We have made some changes to the layout this year which we hope will assist with the flow of people, but we do ask visitors to bear with us, follow signs and listen to the stewards when exiting the arena.
“If possible, people are advised to walk or use public transport, but if anyone is driving in, we would remind them that highways and parking regulations do apply and anyone parking illegally could be fined. There are plenty of car parks throughout the town centre and, as the event is earlier this year, we have decided to waive the usual car parking charges for the last hour, so people can park free of charge from 5pm in any of the council-run car parks.
“Activities such as fire performers and the fair will continue after the display, so families are welcome to stay and enjoy the fun while the crowds disperse. Overall, we’re hoping for another successful fireworks extravaganza so we can really celebrate the 10thanniversary of this popular event with a bang.”