This year, on 2nd November, thousands of people will turn out to watch the impressive firework display in Brockwell Park. Amid the excitement of the waiting crowd, the glare of neon lights from the on-site fun fair, and the inevitable delay after the 10 second countdown, you might stop and consider the extraordinary situation you find yourself in.
Rarely is it that this many people gather in one place at the same time with the exact same intension as the person stood next to them. An intension so simple and innocent that it’s all the more strange. Watching fireworks, no matter how cool you think you are, brings out a sense of childish wonder in us all. You can try and stifle the desire to ‘ooo’ and aaah’ at the pretty colours, magnificent explosions and screaming rockets, but we all know it’s impossible. Fireworks are frickin’ awesome.
But that’s not the only good thing about bonfire night. Yes, we’re all still very glad about the fact James I didn’t get blown up by Guy Fawkes and his band of merry men 407 years ago. Big cheers/ brow wiping/ expressions of relief etc. No, the really good thing about watching the fireworks with loads of people from your neighbourhood is just that — you’re doing something with people from your community, and it’s free, and it’s fun, and everyone’s having a good time.
So while you’re watching the fireworks this coming Friday, remember to not only wear gloves when holding sparklers, but to think about how cool it is hanging out with your community and sharing such a fun experience. Maybe even say ‘hello’ to the person stood next to you. You never know, it might turn out that they live on your road, or their kids go to the same school as your kids, or that they’re called Dave and so are you. Whatever it is, make a connection — it’s what will hold your community together.
Oh, and obviously, remember, remember, the 4th of November…because it’s FEAST and you wouldn’t want to miss another opportunity to have fun at a brilliant, local event that’s just round the corner.