Bonfire Night in Da River!!

A example of a bonfire we would have back in the 80’s in Riverhead Hr. Grace NL Photo credit Sonya Natasha (photo was taken in Grand Falls-Windsor 2012)

A example of a bonfire we would have back in the 80’s in Riverhead Hr. Grace NL Photo credit Sonya Natasha (photo was taken in Grand Falls-Windsor 2012)


Celebrating Bonfire Night is a long standing tradition in most communities across Newfoundland and Labrador. In Riverhead, Hr, Grace we would start collecting items weeks in advance and place them on Stapleton’s Beach. Day after day the wood pile would get bigger and bigger and some people in the area would take this opportunity to get rid of some items around their houses, like old chesterfields, chair, brush and of course plenty of old tires. Our goal was to ensure we had the largest bonfire in the harbour or even in the bay!! We did not know the history of Bonfire Night (at least I did not know in the beginning), all we knew it was an opportunity to stay out late on a school night and have fun watching how high the flames would rise in the air. For a couple of days after the fire you could see the smoke still drifting into the air as it smouldered.
In my opinion religion has no reflection of who celebrates this tradition, it is merely a time to come together and be warmed by the fires (and no tires). Having said that, there was a time that it was celebrated in a much different manner, here is a portion of the explanation of Bonfire Night according to Wikipedia:
Guy Fawkes Night originates from the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, a failed conspiracy by a group of provincial English Catholics to assassinate the Protestant King James I of England and replace him with a Catholic head of state. In the immediate aftermath of the 5 November arrest of Guy Fawkes, caught guarding a cache of explosives placed beneath the House of Lords, James’s Council allowed the public to celebrate the king’s survival with bonfires, so long as they were “without any danger or disorder”.[1] This made 1605 the first year the plot’s failure was celebrated

Bonfire Night Bay Roberts 2014
The Bay Roberts Special Events Committee hosts a Community Campfire, photo credit N.Ayad

The Bay Roberts Special Events Committee hosts a Community Campfire, photo credit N.Ayad


There will be three organized bonfires in Bay Roberts this year:
Bear’s Cove, the Coish, & Community Gardens , The Bay Roberts Special Events Committee hosts a Community Campfire starting at 7pm at the Community Garden (Old Ball field Road). Hot dogs and refreshments will be served.
On a final note, if you are visiting a bonfire please use care and caution around the fire and if you host your own fire ensure there is a water supply in the proximity. Have a fun filled Bonfire Night everyone!!

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