On Friday the 12th of November, Warren Road Primary School (Orpington, Kent) hosted their 2021 Fireworks Night.
The Fireworks Night is an annual fundraising event for the school that has been held at the school since 2015 and it is one of the events run by the school’s Parent-Teacher Association. In 2015, the first Fireworks Night was led by PTA member Pauline Richardson who says “it started with a curiosity to see if it was possible…”
Six years later, the school’s Fireworks Night remains a popular event. Attendees began to arrive at 6:00pm and would stay at the school until 8:00pm. Before the fireworks occurred, the main playground offered an opportunity to browse the variety of PTA provided stalls: there was a drink stall selling a range of beverages and food stalls where guests could order hotdogs or burgers. Additionally, there was a Flossie Flavours candyfloss stall, which attracted much attention due to its ‘blue raspberry’ and ‘pink strawberry’ flavours. Despite the damp weather, there was an atmosphere of excitement as visitors waited in anticipation for the fireworks to begin. At 7:40pm, the guests were ushered onto the school field in preparation for the main event to commence. The PTA had organised for the fireworks to be managed by an outside company who have worked with the school for many years to make the Fireworks Night come to life. Once again, the fireworks proved themselves to be magnificent with their dazzling bursts of colours, evoking astonished gasps from the crowd; ultimately, the fireworks put on an impressive spectacle for the crowd.
The unseen hero of the Fireworks Night is Bianca Haupt-Erasmus, a member of the PTA who has been in charge of the event since 2016. Over the years, she has implemented strategies to make the Fireworks Night safer and more financially affordable. In her own words, “it’s not just about making money – it’s about making children happy”. For example, she has transformed the raffle event to make it more exhilarating for children: the winner of the raffle used to receive a gift but Bianca changed this so that instead, the winner is given VIP status throughout the night, including pressing the button which sets off the fireworks while sitting from a front-view bench.
The school’s Fireworks Night has become extremely successful. For the 2021 Fireworks Night, there were around 1500 tickets sold online and more sold on the day, at the gates. The majority of the profit comes from the ticket prices but a lot of money is generated by the stalls too, aggregating to £8000-£10000 in profit all together; the Fireworks Night is one of the school’s biggest fundraisers. From looking at the smiling faces, it was obvious that many families enjoyed the event, which is the real reward of Warren Road Primary School’s 2021 Fireworks Night.