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Join us at Hartwood Acres Mansion Stables for a fun family event featuring a large bonfire topped off with Guy Fawkes, fair games, food, and more!
Explore fascinating British-themed topics with the guidance of experts and enjoy the company and conversation of fellow enthusiasts as a member of the Britsburgh Societies: Britsburgh Arts Society, the Britsburgh Beer Society, the Britsburgh History Society, the Britsburgh Literary Society and the Britsburgh Tea Society. If you are not already a member, I would like to invite you to consider becoming a Britsburgh Society member.
In the UK, for 400 years, bonfires have burned on November 5th to mark the failed Gunpowder Plot, in which In 1605, thirteen young men planned to blow up
the Houses of Parliament. Among them was Guy Fawkes, Britain's most notorious traitor.
The tradition of Guy Fawkes-related bonfires actually began the very same year as the failed coup. The Plot was foiled in the night between the 4th and 5th of November 1605. Already on the 5th, agitated Londoners who knew little more than that their King had been saved, joyfully lit bonfires in thanksgiving. As years progressed, however, the ritual became more elaborate.
Soon, people began placing effigies onto bonfires, and fireworks were added to the celebrations. Effigies of Guy Fawkes, and sometimes those of the Pope, graced the pyres. Still today, some communities throw dummies of both Guy Fawkes and the Pope on the bonfire (and even those of a contemporary politician or two), although the gesture is seen by most as a quirky tradition, rather than an expression of hostility towards the Pope.
Preparations for Bonfire Night celebrations include making a dummy of Guy Fawkes, which is called "the Guy". Some children even keep up an old tradition of walking in the streets, carrying "the Guy" they have just made, and beg passersby for "a penny for the Guy." The kids use the money to buy fireworks for the evening festivities.
On the night itself, Guy is placed on top of the bonfire, which is then set alight. The extent of the celebrations and the size of the bonfire varies from one community to the next. Lewes, in the South East of England, is famous for its Bonfire Night festivities and consistently attracts thousands of people each year to participate.
Bonfire Night is not only celebrated in Britain. The tradition crossed the oceans and established itself in the British colonies during the centuries. It was actively celebrated in New England as "Pope Day" as late as the 18th century. Today, November 5th bonfires still light up in far out places like New Zealand and Newfoundland in Canada. Now Pittsburgh will join in the fun as we celebrate Guy Fawkes night at Hartwood Acres Mansion.
6PM-6.30PM Children are invited to Hartwood Stables to make a 'Guy" for the bonfire from old clothes, sack cloth, string and straw.
6.30PM Guy Fawkes Parade. Guy Fawkes will be paraded from the stables to the bonfire. All are invited to switch on your phone flashlight (torch) and follow on behind! Guy Fawkes will then be placed upon the top of the bonfire.
6.45PM The Bonfire will be lit!
6.30PM - 8.30PM Traditional bonfire night activities:
Sample Parkin and bonfire toffee
Penny for the Guy game
Keg of Gunpowder Piñata
Please eat before coming to the event.
Come join a really fun night out!
ALL ADULTS MUST REGISTER. REGISTRATION OF CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF 10 YEARS OLD IS NOT REQUIRED. ALL TEENAGES AND CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF 18 YEARS ARE FREE.
Do wrap up warm. It's pretty cold in November and standing around in the dark can be chilly! So wrap up warm with thick socks, jumpers, gloves, hats, coats and scalves.
Do bring a flashlight (torch).
Do stand far away from the bonfire.
Do keep a close watch on your children.
Do have fun!
Don't bring alcohol.
Don't bring fireworks or sparklers. Unfortunately due to safety reasons there will not be any firework display at this event.
Don't bring your pets to the event as they might get scared.
THE BRITSBURGH TEAM
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Building bridges across communities by driving growth in British-American culture, history, education, tradition and trade in Pittsburgh.
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