Peterborough’s Firework Fiesta is cancelled permanently after 44 years

Firework Fiesta will no longer be held in Peterborough after 44 years with organisers blaming “unacceptable” levels of costs.

Friday, 17th May 2019, 4:33 pm
Firework Fiesta 2018 at Peterborough Arena. EMN-180311-234018009

The fixture in the city’s calendar was already in doubt after a loss of sponsorship meant there was a race against time to plug a £10,000 funding shortfall.

And on top of that the East of England Arena and Events Centre, which has been hosting the event, announced a few weeks ago it was planning to host its own, large fireworks show in November.

The decision to bring Firework Fiesta to an end was announced today by event manager Phil Branston, who said: “After 44 years, the present organisers of Peterborough Firework Fiesta - Peterborough Minster Rotary Club and Peterborough Round Table - have decided to retire the event.

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“With costs increasing to unacceptable levels, gate receipts reducing and our failure to secure sufficient sponsorship to offset the weather risks for the event, we have decided not to proceed again this year.

“It is with sadness that we withdraw from what has been a premier event for Peterborough - over 40 successful years raising many thousands of pounds for local charities. The event developed into one of the top bonfire night firework displays in the country.

“We would like to thank all our previous sponsors and the many unpaid volunteers who helped us over the years.

“May we wish our commercial successors good fortune and fair weather for the future, and hope the event can continue for many years for the people of Peterborough.”

This is the second time Firework Fiesta has been cancelled, but the last time was because Nene Park Trust decided no longer to host it at Ferry Meadows, citing traffic concerns.

The volunteer-run event then moved to the arena, where spectators were treated to a dazzling fireworks display, fair, bonfire and live music.

Money raised from Firework Fiesta led to more than £600,000 being donated to local good causes, but with event running costs of £52,000 the loss of previous sponsors had put this year’s display in jeopardy.

Organisers have previously turned to Peterborough City Council for financial support, but the cash-strapped authority declined to dip into its budget.

The council said it has previously provided “substantial advertising and promotion” for free and would do so again.

A spokesperson added: “The council receives a number of requests for event sponsorship every year, and unfortunately due to financial constraints we can not agree to all of these.”