Tag Archives: 2020

NEWBY HALL FIREWORK CHAMPIONS

WHAT: NEWBY HALL FIREWORK CHAMPIONS
WHY: NATIONAL PYROTECHNIC COMPETITON
WHEN: SATURDAY 18TH JULY 2020
WHERE: NEWBY HALL, RIPON, NORTH YORKSHIRE
COST: SEE WEBSITE FOR MORE DETAILS

‘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.

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LAS FALLAS FIREWORKS AND FIESTA 2020

WHAT: LAS FALLAS 2020
WHY: FIREWORKS AND FIESTA
WHERE: VALENCIA, SPAIN
WHEN: SUNDAY 15TH MARCH TO THURSDAY 19 MARCH 2020 – FESTIVITIES BEGIN FROM 1ST MARCH ONWARDS
COST: FREE TO ATTEND

The Las Fallas Fiesta (the fires) is acknowledged as being Valencia’s most recognised international festival and is full of lights, flowers, traditional costume, music, bonfires, plenty of gunpowder and the army of the Fallas (the fires).

As Valencia and the surrounding region say goodbye to the Winter and welcomes in the Spring, thousands of locals, visitors, and pyromaniacs descend on the city to witness one of the biggest festivals to be held in South-Western Spain.

Las Fallas de Valencia

Officially the festival does not get into the full swing of things until around the 15th of March but from the 1st of the month, at 2pm daily, there is a mascleta outside the Plaza del Ayuntamiento. This concert of firecrackers is a popular event to witness, with neighbouring groups competing for the most impressive volley. All the mascleta end with the terramoto (earthquake) where hundreds of the firecrackers all explode simultaneously.

On the night of the 15th March, the Planta of the Fallas takes place. Workers put in an all-night shift to install around 800 figures in every corner of Valencia. The colourful ninots start to take shape some up to 20 feet tall and placed in groups that tower over the excited below. Some of the ninots are based on political figures, soap stars, tv, sports idols or some are just the imagination of the creators. On the 16th is when the judging takes place and then the ninots are paraded through the streets. These scenes of characters can be seen and enjoyed in the days following until the La Crema takes place.

Las Fallas

In contrast to La Planta the crema marks the end of the festival in the City and is known as the most popular event internationally. The monuments are built and exhibited in the street to be burnt and this happens on the 19th and 20th reducing the splendid monuments that stood once proudly in the streets to ashes amongst the hundreds in the crowd that gather to witness the special event. The celebrations always end with Nit Del Foc (night of fire) on the 18th march. This is a fantastic firework display in the Paseo de la Alameda lighting up the skies along with light displays and music.

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STRANRAER OYSTER FESTIVAL 2020

WHAT: STRANRAER OYSTER FESTIVAL 2020
WHY: OYSTER FESTIVAL FEATURING FIREWORKS
WHEN: 11TH TO 13TH SEPTEMBER 2020
WHERE: STRANRAER, DUMFRIES AND GALLOWAY, SCOTLAND
COST: CONTACT LOCAL OUTLETS – CAFE PIZZERIA, BAXTERS, THE NORTH WEST CASTLE HOTEL, MCKENZIES, THE CENTRAL CAFÉ

In 2017, the first-ever Stranraer Oyster Festival was held to meet the demand for people both from the immediate area and beyond who wanted a hands, local event, which brings community and visitors together in a fun and informative way. Now entering its 4th year, the Stranraer Oyster Festival celebrates the unique events of the opening of the new harvest for the delicious and native Loch Ryan Oysters.

Loch Ryan’s wild, native oyster fisheries are situated in the crystal clear waters of Loch Ryan. The oyster beds were established in 1701 when King William III (aka William of Orange) set out a special charter granting the rights fish the natural oyster bed to the Wallace family. The family continues to live on the banks of the Loch to this day.

Fishing them is carried out most days with their dredging boats and they lift around 40,000 oysters which are then graded from No1 which are around 150g to No4 which are no less than 75g. They will usually harvest around 2000 so the remaining will be put back into the water in piles to assist in their fertilisation in the Spring.  This aids the fishermen so that they know exactly where they are and it also helps to maintain the tiny weeny baby oysters which would under any other circumstances be swept out to sea, maintaining the oyster beds for future generations.

Oysters are only fished till late April/early May and they are left alone through the Summer and fishing recommences again 1st September.

The first event of its kind brought around 10,000 visitors to the area which also added around £1 million to the local economy.

Each year, a celebrating chef has been on hand, holding cooking demonstrations and making recommendations about how best to use this fine seafood. Previous Chefs have included Tony Singh and Nick Nairns.

In addition, they hold the usual oyster shucking championships (opening them by hand) as well as a full programme of events, activities and of course, opportunities to eat and drink:

  • Street seafood treats
  • Live music throughout the weekend (into the wee small hours)
  • The Big Oyster Bash is a live event featuring a DJ, hot buffet and a prize draw
  • Extreme pond dipping – get up close and personal with dog fish, starfish, whelks, spider crabs and of course, oysters
  • Stand up paddleboarding (in the sea – in late Autumn – mmmm, maybe I will give that a wide berth)
  • Cakes, pies, and goodies
  • Oodles of seafood
  • Artisan food and craft stalls
  • FIREWORKS

Get along, show your support and take in some of the stunning scenery around the Loch.

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