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Tower Hamlets fireworks in Victoria Park – 2023 update

Fireworks night at Victoria Park has been cancelled for 2023. Tower Hamlets Council has announced that there are no plans for a fireworks display in Victoria Park or any of the borough’s parks this year.

Due to the pandemic, Victoria Park’s annual fireworks display was cancelled in 2020 and 2021. Last year, the Council decided not to reinstate the display, making 2023 the fourth year that the fireworks have not gone ahead.

In previous years, Victoria Park’s fireworks display was one of the few remaining free fireworks events in London attracting a crowd of up to 80,000 people. Also known as the Tower Hamlets Fireworks, the event was funded by the Council and was one of the most significant calendar events in the East End. The Guy Fawkes night celebrations, which feature a bonfire and pyrotechnic display organised by Walk the Plank, had a different them each year.

Do you remember going to one of the bonfire nights in Victoria Park? We have records going back to 2016, but if you can recall one of the themes before 2016, please let us know in the comments.

Victoria Park fireworks through the years

In 2021, the Council cited post-pandemic budget cuts and the fireworks in Victoria Park were cancelled.

In 2020, amid fears of a second lockdown, Tower Hamlets Council decided to cancel the Victoria Park Fireworks display which was planned to go ahead in November. The Tower Hamlets council said ‘Ultimately the safety of our residents comes first. We cannot risk the potential spread of Covid 19 in large crowds.’

2019 Fireworks in Victoria Park: Apollo Moon Landing in 2019

Moon landing at the 2019 fireworks in Victoria Park, Tower Hamlets, East London.
Pyrotechnics by Walk the Plank

In 2019, the fireworks at Victoria Park celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landings. Local residents were entertained by space-inspired explosions, soundscapes, spoken word storytelling and special effects. ‘We’re excited to once again host another fireworks extravaganza in the borough. This year we’re celebrating the 50th anniversary of those first steps taken by Neil Armstrong on the moon with an exciting show that celebrates this extraordinary moment in history.’

2018 Fireworks in Victoria Park: Frankenstein

Shelley's Frankenstein for fireworks night in Victoria Park, Tower Hamlets, East London, 2018.
Pyrotechnics by Walk the Plank

In 2018 the Guy Fawkes celebrations were inspired by the first science-fiction novel Frankenstein, first published two centuries previously. Two centuries after Mary Shelley’s science-fiction novel was published, the fiendish creature will be rendered in fiery ways. Brought to you by leading pyrotechnical and outdoor theatre company, Walk the Plank walktheplank.co.uk.

2017 Fireworks in Victoria Park: David Bowie

Man who fell to earth, David Bowie is celebrated for fireworks night in Victoria Park, Tower Hamlets, East London, 2017..
Pyrotechnics by Walk the Plank

In 2017, the Tower Hamlets fireworks at Victoria Park, took on a sci-fi theme, partly inspired by David Bowie’s iconic 1970s film ‘The Man Who Fell to Earth’. In the year that would have marked Bowie’s 70th birthday, his music provided the thematic context for the show which also included the intervention of ‘flying saucers’ to mark the arrival of a spaceman on Planet Earth.

2016 Fireworks in Victoria Park: Great Fire of London

London's Burning celebrates the Fire of London for fireworks night 2016 in Victoria Park, Tower Hamlets, East London, 2016..
Pyrotechnics by Walk the Plank

In 2016, the fireworks celebrated the 350th anniversary of the Fire of London. The display started with 50 metre wide fire drawing, depicting a 17th century-style scene of ancient London, which burned from east to west – reflecting the original course of the fire.  This was punctuated with low level fireworks before the full display gathered momentum with an intense series of explosions to a contemporary soundtrack which included ‘London Calling’ by The Clash, ‘Burning down the house’ by Talking Heads and ‘Right here right now’ by Fatboy Slim.

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Tabitha Stapely

Tabitha Stapely is the founder of Social Streets C.I.C, a not-for-profit media company using journalism to strengthen communities, particularly those in disadvantaged or neglected areas. Prior, Stapely was a writer and editor for national titles including The Telegraph Saturday Magazine, Elle and Red magazines.

3 thoughts on “Tower Hamlets fireworks in Victoria Park – 2023 update

  • Terrible decision but nothing surprises me with the new council.

  • Maybe LBTH will go the way if LB Haringey who started charging for its fireworks display around 2014 this denying local people access to the event itself.

  • I would happily pay a tenner if it meant they reinstated one of the best events of the year at VP.


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