Remember, remember, the 5th of November
The Gunpowder Treason and plot;
I see of no reason why Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.
Every fifth of November bonfires are lit all around England and fireworks are set off to commemorate the day in 1605 when Guy Fawkes failed to blow up the House of Lords. My most memorable Bonfire Night took place in Roundhay Park, Leeds, in the north of England. There has never been a grander bonfire; it was constructed of entire trees and flamed impossibly high into the night sky, accompanied by a magnificent display of fireworks.
Bonfire Night (or Guy Fawkes Night) is a quintessentially British festival, so I wasn’t expecting to celebrate it over here on the west coast of the US, but a friend of mine let me in on a little secret. If you’re in Seattle on the fifth of November, head down to Golden Gardens and join in as a group of Seattle-based Brits, their spouses, friends, neighbours and random strangers celebrate their very own Bonfire Night on the beach. If you’re not sure where to go, look for shadowy figures silhouetted against a delicious red glow.
There were no fireworks as they are illegal in the City of Seattle; possession can earn you a hefty $5,000 fine and up to a year in jail! Instead, the revelers at Golden Gardens this year made do with bonfires, hand-held sparklers and several effigies of poor old Guy Fawkes which were tossed into the flames.
There was a surprisingly large turnout; people of all ages from tots to seniors showed up with firewood to burn, tasty treats to share around the dancing fires, and sparklers for everyone.
Next time you find yourself in Seattle on November 5th, take a wander down to Golden Gardens in search of gunpowder, treason and plot.