Your bonfire night guide
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Fireworks over  Niagara Fall

Your bonfire night guide

It’s that time of year again with bonfire night and the start of Diwali there will be lots of fireworks around, but is it better to have your own little party of go to one of the organized events that seem to be springing up everywhere.

I must admit when I was little we used to have the family round, everyone would bring a pack of fireworks and mom would do us jacket potatoes. These were great nights with sparklers and even a bonfire complete with guy, what I didn’t realise as a kid was how much work, effort and money these nights took. Not only was there the cost of fireworks, although with everyone bringing some that wasn’t too bad, but the drinks, snacks, fillings for the potatoes, plus the running around needed to sort it all. I never realised how little of the firework display my mom actually got to see, let alone how ridiculously dangerous we were with some of the fireworks, my brothers lighting them with lighters and matches and on one occasion when everything else failed a blowtorch ( I know I cringe at the thought of my dad doing that today)

The result is that this year as my son turns three we are heading to the local charity organized display, not only to save the hassle but as he has not been overly enamoured the last two years with the noise it will be easy to get home should he get upset. The tickets are only £7 for an adult and free for under 5s so for less than £15 we are bundling up and heading out to what should be a stress-free bonfire night.

There are loads of local displays you can attend, not only do they work out at less than you would pay for a box of fireworks in most cases but the organization, safety and clean up are all done by someone else. In a few cases food will be provided in the good old hot dog and burger form or you can just eat before or after.

Of course if you’re really not wanting to pay anything you do the ultimate in cheap nights and find a mate or family member who lives near one of the aforementioned displays, bring a chair and a mug of hot chocolate and enjoy the skies for free.

The other problem is of course the age-old question of what to do with the pets. The fury friends don’t always appreciate the noise and lights of the fireworks and every year we are told to keep them indoors but that’s not always enough, as shown by the recent case in the Daily mail where a dog who was spooked by fireworks ended up boarding a train at the station 400m from his house in a bit to get away from the noise and rode all the way to Sheffield. Luckily he was reunited with his owner who is now taking extra precautions to make sure he will not be spooked this weekend (or at least getting him a return ticket)

Our fury friends were always treated to either the evening in our bedroom or a couple of tasty bones to distract them from…well everything else. It’s amazing the concentration on a dogs face when you put a proper bone in front of him. There are plug ins and other calming methods you can buy from pet shops, but if your pet seems to get through the night without too much stress then these are largely to make the owner feel better about doing something.

Lastly if you are having your own display firstly, don’t use a blow torch, to light anything, stick to the safety lighter and if you are having a bonfire, check for hedgehogs as sometimes they find then a very attractive hibernating spot. But most of all have fun and stay safe.

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