‘Firework Champions’ is the series of events held in historic or stately homes up and down the UK. Competitors within the field of professional pyrotechnics are being invited by organisers MLE Pyrotechnics to take part.

Competitors each create a 10-minute pyro-musical display (firework display choreographed to music) and take to the skies to show their prowess.

The material the teams use is not available to the general public and is often the first chance some find of seeing the highest quality of display fireworks outside of London on New Year’s Eve.

  • FOOD – it’s entirely up to you whether you want to grab your cool box, beverages, picnic blankets, and seating or take advantage of one of the food vendors who will be on site
  • ENTERTAINMENT – Before the fireworks, there will be on-site entertainment as well as bouncy castles. Rides and attractions
  • PRE SHOW ENTERTAINMENT – to warm up the crowd

These events have featured on local and national news and the participants are indeed responsible for some of the most iconic fireworks in the UK including London’s New Year’s Eve, the Rugby, Football and Olympic events and you get to be up close and personal with some of the most experienced in the business in an incredible setting.

Firework Champions 2016 - Newby Hall by Dave Carter

Newby Hall is a 17th-century historic building that has been in the family for numerous generations and like all notable structures of its kind, has a sad and poignant tale within. The owner of the house in the late 17th Century was Lord Grantham, Thomas Weddell. His daughter married Henry Vyner and they had a son, Fredrick who on reaching adulthood, went travelling around the World (as most of his contemporaries would have done). Sadly, the trip came to a very sad end when Fredrick was killed whilst in Greece which his poor mother never quite got over and she had a gothic style church built in the gardens to commemorate his life in the midst of 25 acres of gardens and open space.

In 2019, Newby Hall Gardens was crowned the winner of the prestigious Historic Houses Garden of the Year award beating off some of the finest in the Country. In fact, one of the seven finalists in 2019 is one of the other venues for Firework Champions – Belvoir Castle. The house has been featured in Peaky Blinders and has been widely used both indoors and out as it has doubled up as Buckingham Palace and Kensington Palace for film and TV production and continues to be used for both filming purposes and of course by the tens of thousands who go along to see the house and gardens annually.

Competing here at Newby this year are as follows:

Team 1 – Spectrum Fireworks and SFX – Newcastle – FIRING SYSTEM – FIRETEK

This teamwork with everything from small bespoke wedding displays to huge corporate and public events in capacity stadiums. They competed at Newby last year but were narrowly beaten to the trophy by Illusion Fireworks but this year, they have one or two surprises and new pieces to try out so it will be brilliant – watch this space!

Team 2 – Blaze Fireworks – Wakefield – FIRING SYSTEM – FIREBYWIRE

Responsible for the beautiful fireworks at the proms in the park at Pontefract Castle for the last couple of years in addition to an order book full of events.  Narrowly beaten 2018 to the win here at Newby Hall they are planning to bring it. Expect big, bold and beautiful.

Team 3 – Fire Monkey Pyro – Wolverhampton – FIRING SYSTEM – FIREBYWIRE

Relative newcomers to the industry as a whole, their members are busy all year round with everything from competition to baby ballroom events. Winners at their first attempt in the Firework Champions series in 2017 at Eastnor Castle as a last-minute replacement, they were absolutely outstanding and showed their incredible prowess in the sky once again last year when they took part in the event at Arley Hall.

This is an exciting opportunity to get out into the fresh air, enjoy time with your family away from the trappings of everyday life and sit back and watch in wonder as night draws into a sky full of fireworks that will stay with you forever.

This is determined by audience vote so make your feelings clear as each person gets to place their votes and whilst the counting takes place, organisers MLE Pyrotechnics will put on a memorable celebration display to cap the night off beautifully.

More information about the event, camping, and other facilities nearby are available on their website.




Observed annually on the last Monday in May, Memorial Day or the Floating Lantern Day began in America as a holiday that originated in the years following the Civil War in the latter part of the 19th century. It held in remembrance to honour the fallen and became an official federal holiday in 1971.

Large lantern at Hawaiian boat style with many prayers

Hawaii took part in the remembrance each year by placing flowers and offerings on the gravesites of those who served their country, but also for other loved ones, friends, and family that had passed away too.

Known for its diverse population and culture, the Hawaiians adopted the remembrance but decided to do it in a different way. The first was held on Memorial Day 1999 when her holiness Shinso Ito, the head priest of Shinnyo, officiated the ceremony and was the first shinnyo-en lantern festival to be held outside of Japan. For the next three years, it was held at Ke’ehi Lagoon on the South shore of Oahu, until 2002, when the ceremony moved a few miles down the coast to Ala Moana Beach where it has remained and been observed ever since. Now held annually on Oahu’s south shore the annual floating lantern festival attracts over 50,000 locals and visitors to the beach to give a personal memory, reflect and give gratitude to them that have already left the planet.


If you are not lucky enough to attend the event, then you can also join the thousands of watchers all around the globe via the streaming a telecasting that’s available. If you happen to be in Hawaii and not be able to get to Ala Moana Beach Park, then you can still write down your remembrances and affirmations at a local Shinnyo-en temple or training centre. Submitting it online or through the lantern floating Hawaii website.

There is a special schedule to the day that is followed each year:

Shinnyo Taiko – This is a call to begin the celebration and this is from a large concha shell. This is a signal for everyone to join and offered as a prayer for peace with the hope that people reach out in the spirit of creating harmony to support one another.

Oli – A Hawaiian chant that calls the attention of all present to prepare their hearts to receive the importance of what is to come.

Hula – This is a visual of a song (mele) or chant (oli) through dance. Hawaiian language scholar Puakea Nogelmeier wrote “Ka lei moana” the encircling garland of the sea which has been shared at the ceremony every year.

The entrance of the main lanterns – This is where the six large lanterns that carry prayers for all spirits on behalf of all the people. These are offered to all victims of war, water-related incidents natural and manmade disasters, famine and disease. It is gratitude to all along with endangered and extinct plant and animal life. They are setting sail to encourage harmony and peace to all and everything in the world.

Light of Harmony – Community leaders from various sectors all come together in the spirit of friendship along with demonstrating their unified commitment to creating harmony amid diversity.

Blessing and transformation – Her holiness Shinso Ito blesses the ceremonial area along with the lanterns, and everyone participating in the ceremony local and from afar. This is prior to the floating of the lanterns.

An offering of food and water – This is to nourish the souls of those been remembered.

Strewing of the flower petals – Since ancient times the paths of loved ones have been covered in flower petals, the offering symbolises love and respect.

Shomyo – A chant that is a fusion of Buddhist and western choral harmony.

The ringing of the bell – The crystal clear sounds of the bell focus everyone’s thoughts and prayers and it rang by her holiness. It signifies that the floating of the lanterns is about to begin.

Floating of the lanterns – This is done at dusk and the lanterns are placed on the water with wishes of peace and happiness of loved one’s past while unveiling courage and hope in the hearts of those in the present.

There are different types of lanterns at the floating parade to be seen and it is a sight to behold as the water glows from the 7000 plus lanterns that are placed on them. This is a magical display of light and love and with the setting sun providing a magnificent backdrop something that you won’t want to miss.




Valentine’s Day is a celebration of St Valentine, Patron Saint of lovers, engaged couples and happy marriages.

Valentine is taken from the Latin Valentinus which is the word for ‘strong, valiant or powerful’. However, theorists say that it is more likely that St Valentines Day became popular because of the works of the English poet Geoffrey Chaucer who lived from 1430 – 1400 and was the first poet to be buried in Westminster Abbey’s Poet’s Corner. There is little or no evidence of a celebration of this saint until Chaucer’s poem ‘Parliament of Fowls’ in which he describes the collection of birds at heavens gate waiting to meet their partners.

It was in the years following his death that members of the nobility (probably the only people with access to literature at the time, began writing love poems to their romantic interests.

Today, Valentine’s Day has become a hugely popular and highly commercialised affair, costing the romantics among us £1.45 BILLION in the UK alone. Given that only 21% of people celebrated it last year, that is a staggering amount of money.


Fireworks have been around for centuries and are widely used around the world for celebrations of all manner of things. Here in the UK, you can use fireworks every day of the year provided you do not set them off after 11pm, unless it is New Year, BFN, Chinese New Year or Diwali. So, why not say it with pyro?  We have a huge range to fit any pocket – just pop over to see us and we can chat about colours and effects and get you that certain Valentine’s gift that will never be forgotten.


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