Stirling Observer

Appeal to support local fireworks show

Bridge of Allan event at risk for the future

- Robert Fairnie

People are being urged to go out and support Bridge of Allan’s annual fireworks show – with organisers admitting rising costs and low crowds are putting the event’s future at risk.

Thousands of people are expected to attend the annual Guy Fawkes spectacula­r in Strathalla­n Games Park on Sunday night (November 5).

The event will feature an impressive fireworks display, a bonfire and live music from Highland four-piece Tide Lines.

However, organisers Stirling and Bridge of Allan Round Table say they are reliant on the support of the public in order to keep the event, which costs around £15,000 to stage, going.

And with declining crowds and ever increasing costs – round table chairman Fraser Ingram says it’s crucial now more than ever that the local community get behind the event.

He said: “We genuinely sympathise that money is very tight for a lot of families as we approach the festive season, so we remain very grateful to every member of the public who pays at the gate to see the display.

“We always try to listen to feedback and have organised further food vendors and more portaloos to make the occasion even more enjoyable.

“Put simply though, if people do not pay to see the show, there may not be a show, never mind funds we can pass on to good causes.

“We would ask any member of the public who can join us to come in to the games park and be part of a fantastic family, community occasion.”

Former chairman Graeme Mair added: “Each year it is becoming more expensive to pay the costs of the display while our take at the gate is gradually declining.

“Even people unwittingl­y buying novelty items from rogue traders outside our site instead of directly from us inside the show grounds impacts on how much money we can raise for good causes.”

The round table say that they find more and more people are not joining the celebratio­n in the park, but are instead choosing to watch for free from vantage points around Bridge of Allan and Stirling – and this is having a big impact on their annual takings.

They add that they are keen to avoid increasing the prices – set at £2 juvenile, £5 adult and £4 concession – to ensure families can continue to attend and they can attract some well-known acts to perform.

Profits generated also help support worthwhile causes such as the annual Santa’s sled, the MS Therapy Centre and Stirling Food Train among others.

Last year around 8000 people came out for a night of entertainm­ent – featuring music from Hue and Cry.

And Mr Ingram hopes music from rockers Tide Lines will help attract a good crowd for this weekend’s event.

He said: “It is always a hard task to find a music act that has a universal appeal for the crowds and is within our budget, but Tide Lines were our unanimous choice after hearing last year’s warm up set by Robert Robertson, who is their lead singer.”

Early bird discount tickets are available from the Albert Halls and Tolbooth box office, along with primary schools and shops. Pay at the gate is also available on the night.

Gates open at 5.45pm with live music kicking off at 6pm. The bonfire is set to be lit at 7pm and the fireworks will begin at 7.30pm.

The Stirling and Bridge of Allan Round Table are looking for new members. For more go to stirlingbo­aroundtabl­

 ??  ?? Star light Fun at the fireworks last year
Star light Fun at the fireworks last year

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