Town holds fiery celebrations

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The streets of Hastings will become a river of fire on Saturday 17 when the town holds one of its most spectacular events of the year.

The event brings Hastings Week to a dramatic close with a torch-lit procession, huge bonfire on the beach and massive fireworks display.

This year sees the 21st anniversary of the bonfire revival in Hastings and thousands of revellers will be lining the street for the full length of the bonfire route.

The route changed last year and saw the procession starting from the White Rock, rather than the Old Town, for the first time in two decades.

This was deemed to be a success by the Society and that route will be followed this year with the procession going through Robertson Street and the town centre, then along the seafront to the Old Town, returning to the fire-site opposite Breeds Place.

Society chairman Nick Lynas said: “The route had great support along its whole length.

“The procession could be seen entering the fire site. Families had more space to watch the start of the procession at or near the town centre. The route involved closing less roads and so caused less disruption to traffic.

Hastings was the first Sussex Society to have its huge bonfire on the beach - this has now been followed by Eastbourne.

Like many bonfire societies, Hastings will unveil a large effigy of something or someone that has antagonised the local community. This traditionally explodes as the final set piece to an incredible fireworks display.

The bonfire raises thousands of pounds for local charities and good causes so please remember the event is free to the public and give generously to collectors. Last year the Society raised just over £4,200.

The procession leaves White Rock at 7.15pm and the lighting of the bonfire and fireworks is 9pm. All are welcome to watch but if you are of a nervous disposition please keep your distance and please no family pets and be especially careful with children and babies in buggies.

For more information go to www.hbbs.info or buy a programme, which are available now. The event, whilst supported by the local council),still has to raise £16,000 every year.

Saturday afternoon will also see the annual Town Crier’s competition at Priory Meadow where Town Criers from all over the country compete.

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