Family bonfire night goes off without a bang in Farsley

No bangs: Joel lighting Roman candles in Farsley. Photo: Noah Roberts

By Noah Roberts

St John’s Church in Farsley transformed their hall and car park into a unique silent bonfire night event on Sunday. 

Vicar the Reverend Gareth Howles had wanted to create a quieter and more relaxed bonfire night, one that both his own family and others could enjoy. 

This free event had an unexpectedly high turn out, with hundreds of families attending. It had been advertised as “bonfire without bangs”, meaning it had no fireworks display or any deliberate loud noises. 

The event had been carefully planned to be accessible to a variety of families with an early start time of 4.30pm, ending by 6.30pm.

Families gathered outside soured several wood burning fire-pits supervised by friendly local volunteers helping children toast marshmallows.

There was a mystical feel to the evening with a special substance added to the fires made the flames burn blue and green. Whilst color changing lights illuminated the trees and walls made for a captivating experience for babies and adults alike. 

Instead of fireworks that make noise, children were given Free Sparklers pushed into the end of carrots. Volunteers like Joel lit Roman candles  from a safe distance to amazed groups of children.

Food was served outside from the “holy smokes” food truck owned by Gareth which had sold out of food within an hour. 

Inside the church hall was open, which benefits from ramp access, serving hot drinks, cake and kids craft activities.  The face painting and glitter tattoos stalls inside proved popular. 

This alternative bonfire event was welcome with parents and carers saying it was a great event as some children dislike loud noises and are sacred by larger fires. It provided a safer, quieter experience for adults too making it a memorable bonfire night for all those who attended. 

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  1. This is a great idea, as show by its popularity. Its maybe a shame they couldn’t have had some quiet fireworks, just nice displays but no bangs, but maybe they don’t exist? After all its the loud bangs that are antisocial and frighten people and animals.

  2. That is possible there are low noise fireworks available they only shoot up a small distance and look nice. Although I would say at this event they were not missed.

  3. Great initiative – wish it could be a requirement in law. We live in Kirkstall and have just taken in a rescue dog and she’s absolutely terrified of every bang. It would be bad enough if it was just a few days a year with all the very loud bangs – but it’s been every evening until after 11.00 for over a week now. My partner walked our dog on Monday early-afternoon in the daylight – someone let off an explosive firework nearby and the dog tried to bolt she was so frightened. We don’t want to spoil peoples’ fun, especially as fireworks are traditional parts of community festivals; it would be great if they could all be celebrated without the loud bangs.


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