Oldham Council has revealed the final arrangements and running order for when Oldham Edge hosts ‘The Big Bang’ on Bonfire Night.
Local residents are invited to enjoy a spectacular evening of free family entertainment at the grassed parkland site – near to Oldham town centre – on Tuesday, November 5. Gates will open at 5pm and the public are advised to wear appropriate footwear, wrap up warm, arrive early and use public transport to avoid high demand on town centre car parking.
The event is sponsored by First Choice Homes Oldham (FCHO) – which has many tenants neighbouring the site – and is also being compered by another close neighbour: 96.2FM The Revolution’s ‘Big Al’. The popular Shaw-based DJ will make the short walk from the radio station’s headquarters to officially start proceedings on-stage at 6pm.
Big Al said: “It’s going to be a real buzz to host ‘The Big Bang’ – we’re expecting a big crowd and a brilliant atmosphere at Oldham Edge. This is a fantastic free event that brings families together from across the Borough and it’s all about fire safety and fun. Why bother with the expense and risk of having your own bonfire and fireworks? Get along to Oldham Edge and come to enjoy the experts doing it all for free.”
The highlights of this year’s fun-packed show (in chronological order from 6pm) include the lighting of the bonfire followed by rhythms and dance from Brazilian band Juba de Leao. Juggling Inferno will then deliver a breath-taking showcase of fire juggling, eating and dancing all set to a funky soundtrack. Big Al will then be serving up a ‘Made in Oldham’ treat before starting the fireworks countdown at around 7pm.
This year’s pyrotechnics have ‘The Big Bang’ theme of ‘Sci-Fireworks’. The dazzling display will feature stunning combinations of stars, bombettes, candles, cakes, mines, shells, sky fillers, flares and comets – all choreographed to blockbuster favourite themes including Doctor Who, X Files, ET, Star Trek, Star Wars, Independence Day, War of the Worlds and others. Small children’s funfair rides and activities and food stalls will be available from 5pm.
All Oldham Council-owned town centre car parks are free to use from 3pm onwards on November 5 – but demand is likely to be high. Residents are reminded to arrive early. The pay and display machines at these car parks will be ‘bagged over’ so you do not need to take a ticket on this occasion. Charging for parking at these sites will restart on Wednesday, November 6 at 8am. Motorists should also be aware that the Hobson Street car park is locked at 9.30pm and reopens at 7am on November 6. The Council’s on-street parking bays in the town centre are also free during the same period (3pm onwards on November 5). These will not be bagged over but – again – motorists do not need to take and display a ticket.
New maps showing the layout of the Oldham Edge site – and one showing the location of all Council-owned car parks – can be viewed online now at www.oldham.gov.uk/bonfire
Councillor Shoab Akhtar, Cabinet Member for Business and Town Centres, said: “Almost everything is ready for The Big Bang but there are a few very important reminders for everyone planning to attend. Although Oldham Council’s car parks and on-street parking bays will be free – and other pay and display sites are available – demand is likely to outstrip supply. We are urging people to plan ahead and to please use public transport where possible. The Council-owned car parks closest to Oldham Edge – such as the Civic Centre and Bradshaw Street, off St Mary’s Way – will obviously fill up quickly on the day, so you should consider using others, like Hobson Street, if you are travelling by car. You need to be fully aware that there is no parking at the Oldham Edge site itself.
“We’ll have a team of volunteers in green bibs around the town centre who – along with street signs – are there to help pedestrians get to Oldham Edge. The site is just a few minutes’ from the bus station at a moderate pace and the best walking routes to take from the town centre are via Henshaw Street, opposite the rear of Tommyfield Market, and Horsedge Street, going past Blue Coat school.
“We’d also like to remind everyone that this event is about public safety on Bonfire Night, which means that no alcohol, sparklers, fireworks, fires or barbecues can be permitted on the site. Finally, the weather is always an unknown factor. It’s important to remember that Oldham Edge is a grassed playing field site, so you should plan ahead to wear appropriate footwear and clothing – not your best shoes – and wrap up warm! We are monitoring weather forecast information around the clock and will quickly publicise any important further advice from Monday onwards using local newspapers, radio, Facebook, Twitter and our website.”