Bonfire events in East Sussex

Remember, remember the fifth of November we round up the events to head to.

Friday, 30th September 2016, 11:00 am
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 11:52 pm
Fireworks light the night sky at the Lewes Bonfire 2015 celebrations this evening
Photograph taken by Simon Dack
Fireworks light the night sky at the Lewes Bonfire 2015 celebrations this evening Photograph taken by Simon Dack

By far the biggest firework celebration in East Sussex has to be Lewes.

Each year it features effigies of well-known figures who are marched through the town before being burnt, with Jeremy Clarkson, David Cameron and Vladimir Putin all featured before.

The societies march through the town in their individual processions, tossing flaming barrels and crosses in the River Ouse and holding services of remembrance at the War Memorial, before joining the grand procession.

Fireworks light the sky at Lewes Bonfire 2015 celebrations this evening Photograph taken by Simon Dack

During the procession 17 burning crosses are carried through Lewes to remember the 17 martyrs burnt to death in Lewes.

The Marian Persecutions took place between 1555 and 1557 when Mary Tudor, daughter of Henry VIII, came under pressure to abandon her unshakable catholic views, but when she came to the throne in 1553, in the process of then re-enforcing them, she had no fewer than 288 protestants burned for their ‘heretical’ views.

n The event takes place on Saturday, November 5 and for more information visit

East Hoathley

Rye Bonfire Society torchlight procession through Rye, bonfire and fireworks. Saturday November 8th 2014.

Last year saw thousands of people head to the small village of East Hoathly to revel in its bonfire celebrations.

People lined the village’s streets to witness the annual celebrations which includes a grand procession, themed bonfire, fireworks and a remembrance procession.

In previous years the bonfire procession included people dressed as cowgirls and boys and in Second World War costumes as it went through the streets to the huge wood sculpture and bonfire, and crowds witnessed the setting alight of a ‘cenotaph’ which exploded with hundreds of fire crackers.

The East Hoathly bonfire night celebrations will take place on Saturday, November 12.

An effigy of Jeremy Clarkson is pulled through the streets at the Lewes Bonfire 2015 celebrations this evening Photograph taken by Simon Dack


Guy Fawkes is said to have sourced his gunpowder from the Battle powdermills and the Battle Bonfire Boyes, one of the world’s oldest membership societies.

The Battle Bonfire Boyes are responsible for organising the bonfire celebrations with a torchlight procession, plenty of noise and a firework display.

The free non-ticketed event kicks off at 7.45pm when a maroon is launched, signalling the start of the procession.

This leads down the High Street to Abbey Green, and from there it is down to the railway station and back up to the Green.

Battle Bonfire Boyes then enter the Abbey via the gate way and turn around. They then proceed back up the High Street, along with the rest of the procession, around, and back to the Abbey Green.

At 9pm the bonfire is lit on the Abbey Green and the fireworks start at 9.30pm.

There are also events during the day with a children’s procession and a judging of children’s fancy dress and ‘the Guy’ contest.

For more information, visit


This year the Hastings Borough Bonfire Society and Hastings community groups are planning a special celebration to mark the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings on Saturday, October 15. Plans are underway to hold events at The Stade Open Space, a costumed day and an afternoon parade.

The torch lit procession of bonfire societies and drumming groups starts at 7.15pm followed at 9pm by a beach art installation of pyrotechnics, bonfire and firework display.

For more information, visit


Rye Bonfire Night 2016 is organised by the Rye Bonfire Society which run the fireworks display. This hugely popular event draws large crowds and is popular with both adults and children.

The fireworks are launched from the far side of where the fishing fleet moor. Good vantage points include the salts, Hilders cliff, the cricket pitch and the back of the Queens pub as well as the Monckbretton bridge area.

For more information, visit or

Saturday, October 1


Rotherfield & Mark Cross

Saturday, October 8


Saturday, October 15


Saturday, October 22





Nevill Juveniles (Lewes)

Saturday, October 29

Ewhurst & Staplecross


Saturday, November 5

Lewes Combined


Icklesham (Robin Hood)


Friday, November 11

Isfield & Little Horsted

Saturday, November 12


East Hoathly


South Heighton

Saturday, November 19


Saturday, November 26


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