Manchester City Council

Council confirms official bonfire night celebrations will not return

No large bonfire events have been held in the city since 2019 when the impacts of the pandemic initially caused them not to go ahead.

The council continues to support and provide a wide range of free, family fun activities and events across the city, including a package of Halloween and Autumn activity in parks.  

This will include 30 separate activities across the city’s parks during half term, from Pumpkin Carving to Spooky Trails, all of which will be family friendly and free to access.  

During the Autumn, Halloween in the City will be taking place again this year as well as exhibitions and events at the city’s libraries and museums.  Family-focused events will continue to the end of the year with Festive Sundays and the Christmas parade as well as a continued programme of family activity across the city’s parks.  

The council’s evaluation from last year showed that not having large bonfire events did not cause any demonstrable increase in anti-social behaviour on the key weekends and it will be working with partner agencies to promote the safety messages to prevent anti-social behaviour in the run up to and during Halloween and Bonfire Night.  

As part of this work, the council will also offer an emergency bonfire removal service on bonfire builds of significant concern that are not on privately owned land. 

Councillor Lee Ann Igbon, Executive Member for Vibrant Neighbourhoods, said: “As Halloween and bonfire night approach, we want to remind residents that council-organised bonfire events will again not be taking place in our parks this year.

“We have looked carefully at the cost benefit of putting on these huge bonfire events and with the continuing rising costs and pressure on our budgets, we feel that our focus, like last year, should be on delivering a bespoke programme of autumn and winter park activities for local communities starting with half-term in late October.

“Positive feedback has been received from delivering smaller scale events in parks, that concentrated on what local communities wanted, last year and we will continue to do the same again this year.

“We want to support families through the cost-of-living crisis and feel that this is much better way to target resources by providing a programme of events, whether that is sports and physical activity, arts and crafts, educational activities or initiatives that provide free or low-cost food, that are relevant and meaningful to residents in their local neighbourhoods.

“The Council will continue to work with our partners to ensure that all our residents stay safe this season.”

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