By Connor Steel
LOCAL RESIDENTS have been invited to attend the annual HMS Sultan Bonfire and Fireworks Night to be held during the upcoming October half term holiday; the training establishment announcing crucial information and the launch of all online ticket sales as they hope to break last year’s crowd that saw thousands of people enjoy the autumn atmosphere.
This 2023 edition is scheduled to be held on October 26 (Thursday) with the gates opening at 5:30pm and there will be a range of activities to enjoy; including funfair rides, games and refreshment vendors. The main attractions are planned to begin at 7:45pm with the bonfire being lit and this will be followed by the ‘finale’ firework display to start from 8:30pm.
Wave 105 broadcaster Tony Sheppard will once again be taking visitors through the main events of this evening, which will conclude at 10:45pm when the gates are due to officially close. Disabled access and toilet facilities have also been organised to be available throughout this occasion with staff / volunteers said to be stationed across the base to assist.
Tickets have been launched online via their website and they must all be purchased before attending the event with no cash entry to be accepted on the night. Parking will be available for a small cost of £5 per vehicle and must be brought alongside entry tickets; the event again operating a designated area within the grounds of Sultan to be open after 5pm.
Early bird tickets are available until October 22 and will see adults gain entry for £7 per person, whilst every child ticket is priced at £4 for those aged between three and fifteen years old. Children under three will gain free entry and a family of two adults / two children will cost just £20, with visitors asked to purchase their tickets early to avoid disappointment.
If purchased after October 23 these prices will rise to £10 per adult and £5 for a child ticket, whilst a family will cost £25 to enter; with no guarantees of availability. There will also be two entrances with different postcodes; the ‘parking areas’ being available by searching for PO13 9XH or PO13 9XF, whilst the ‘on-foot’ entrance can be found near to PO12 3TR.
Visitors are warned at there will be required security checks to keep everybody safe, and therefore people are asked to arrive with plenty of time, thus avoiding the long queues seen in 2021 that saw many miss this ‘entire event’. Residents are also advised there could be increased traffic in Gosport throughout the evening, particularly in Grange and Rowner.
PICTURED BY ORLA MARIE STEEL: Bonfire crackles into life against a large crowd at HMS Sultan during past event.