Bonfire Night On The Forest takes place every year at the Forest Recreation Ground in Nottingham. With all the allures of firework displays, hot food, fairground rides and the fact that it’s FREE entry, we sent Impact’s Ellie Wright to experience the event.
We kicked off bonfire night with a jam-packed tram ride. It’s always fun being nose to nose with a complete stranger, whilst also feeling someone else rub up slightly too close from behind. The closer we got to the stop, the more people barged into tight spaces that really didn’t exist, and I could almost feel the tram struggling as we went uphill.
“I found myself running towards the lights, channelling my inner child”
As we arrived, everyone barged off, and I was pleased to see that the claustrophobic journey was well worth it! Nottingham City Council really had pulled out all the stops with the fairground. The field was lit up beautifully with every classic funfair ride spinning and shouting for attention and I found myself running towards the lights, channelling my inner child.
The main problem we faced was: how the hell do we get into this place?! Every corner we tried to sneak into was blocked by a caravan or a fence. Being lazy wasn’t helping us cut-corners, so instead we walked around the side and thankfully, found our way into the heart of the fun fair.
“There was food stall after food stall; I immediately knew this was going to be how I would spend most of my night”
The first thing that hit me was the smell: FOOD (and perhaps dodgy weed?!). There was food stall after food stall; I immediately knew this was going to be how I would spend most of my night. The first thing that caught my eye was the German sausages that were being cooked on an open-grill, and I couldn’t hold myself back from trying one. It was the best thing I’d eaten in a long time; perhaps because I was just too overwhelmed by the generous size, or excited because it wasn’t me that had to cook it!
We began walking round in a complete daze, eager to see every possible ride and mentally review its safety. Passing the dodgems, fun house, ghost train, the waltzer… screaming kids and busy crowds – nothing less can be expected! The most impressive sight of the night was Nottingham’s bonfire, it could be seen from wherever you were standing at the fair, capturing the night perfectly. The bonfire became a gathering point for people to warm up (even from a distance), and anticipate the 9pm firework countdown.
“I convinced myself that £2 for a portion of chips was an absolute bargain”
I decided to take it upon myself to trial and test the chocolate coated strawberries and marshmallows, and then spotted the chips being sold directly opposite. I convinced myself that £2 for a portion of chips was an absolute bargain and feeling quite pleased with myself, made my way back over to the bonfire. Friends and family chatted and laughed, whilst drinking Cadbury’s hot-chocolate with cream. Winter had truly arrived at that moment!
“The fireworks built in nature as the finale showcased its best to end the night”
At 9:01pm the crowd began to quieten down, for the immanent fireworks. Short, but sweet is how I would describe the display. The fireworks built in nature as the finale showcased its best to end the night. The audience gasped, and cheered, and whooped in reaction, and the young boy behind me quite accurately described the fireworks as: “sounding like a frying pan”.
After the display, the crowds slowly began to disperse which meant only one thing: tram chaos. I think the biggest mistake made that night was waiting for the toilets. After doing so, we carelessly made our way in the direction of the tram, and the most British sight hit us at full force: an orderly queue. Not just any ordinary queue though, but a queue that was so long, it had then split into two separate queues, and even then spread across the whole length of the field. I considered a lot of things but attempting to subtly join the queue was definitely not one of them. My feet were frozen stiff in my converse, and the thought of queueing hours for a tram (arriving every 15 minutes) was too painful.
Gathering together we came up with the intelligent idea of walking to the stop before ‘The Forest’ and skipping the queue. However, we soon found out that the majority of fair goers had the same idea – so much for our ‘original’ plan. Calling a taxi was considered, but the traffic was deadlock. And after a long debate, we decided to walk home. Google maps led the way and Guy Fawkes night ended much, much later than anticipated.
Featured Image courtesy of ‘Lee Haywood’ via Flickr. Image licence found here.