20 Sept, 2021
11 minutes

Find a Fireworks Display (or Make One of Your Own)

Everyone loves a good firework display, especially us at Chorlton Fireworks! Something about the excitement as you watch a rocket whizz up into the air, waiting for the sudden burst of vivid flame and smoke as shimmering light soars across the sky, followed by the thunderous bang a second later, lifts everyone’s spirits.

If you’re on the hunt for a fireworks celebration display you’re guaranteed to find one with these tips, if not, we’ll help you put one together.

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When to Look Out for Fireworks Displays

There are certain times of the year when you’re bound to see fireworks almost everywhere you turn. If you’re wondering when you’ll see your next firework display out in public (or even over your neighbour’s garden fence), here are some dates for UK firework displays:

  • Bonfire Night or Fireworks Night on the 5th of November. Firework displays will usually start around 7 or 8 pm and all must be finished by 1 am according to UK law.
  • New Year’s Eve on the 31st of December. Fireworks will usually commence on the stroke of midnight following the countdown to the new year.
  • Diwali, which is on a different day each year depending on the lunar calendar but usually happens around November and October. Fireworks will go off in the evening and must finish by 1 am.
  • Chinese New Year, which also occurs on a different day each year depending on the lunar calendar, but usually around the beginning of February. Fireworks will go off in the evening as part of a display and must finish by 1 am.

Besides these annual celebrations in the UK, there are other global events that usually come with a large-scale firework display, such as the Olympics opening ceremony, the World Cup, and one-time events such as Prince Harry and Meghan’s royal wedding. If there is a large event coming up it’s worth checking whether there will be a firework display so you can watch it live or tune in on the television.

How to Find Firework Displays

As firework experts, we’re well-versed on how to find fireworks near you. Thanks to the internet and social media a quick Google search is usually the only thing between you and the next firework display you see.

If you’re planning to find a firework display to attend beforehand, there are a great many event and tourism websites to help with this. Depending on your location you might be looking on a different website. In Manchester, we use Visit Manchester and M.E.N., both of which are regularly updated with events happening in and around Manchester. A search for the keyword ‘fireworks’ in the search bar will show a list of upcoming firework displays. You can find similar websites for your area by searching ‘events [location]’, or ‘tourism [location]’ into Google.

Tripadvisor and Time Out are both useful websites to find out about events happening anywhere in the UK. Event Brite is another useful website that shows events happening across the UK and those that will have firework displays. If you want to know about fireworks at certain times of the year, you can input a specific date range that will show you all the events including firework displays happening at that time.

Another sure-fire way to find out about firework displays, especially if you want to know why there are fireworks near you tonight, is to check social media. People in groups in your area, or your local fire department might be talking about these on Facebook or Twitter, or you could always put the question out there.

Types of Fireworks Events

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What types of events are accompanied by firework displays? There can be any number of different reasons to celebrate with fireworks, from tying the knot to a major sports win. Here are four of the most common categories that firework displays fall into.

Major Events

Major national events usually come with fireworks in the evening when the sun sets. Examples of major events include The Lord Mayor’s Show, The Royal Jubilees of Queen Elizabeth II, royal weddings, and The Proms. These large-scale national events often come with a ceremony, entertainment and fireworks that are broadcast live on television.

Other major events include annual traditional and cultural holidays like those listed above. Firework displays for major events will almost always be designed, set up, and carried out by professional firers and professional fireworks companies that need to hold Category 4 fireworks licenses.

Private Events

Customers order fireworks from us every day for private events of all shapes and sizes. Firework displays add a sprinkling of magic to just about any private event. Most commonly, we sell fireworks for weddings, birthdays, gender reveal parties, anniversaries, and back garden Fireworks Night parties, or New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Depending on the location, you might have a selection of Category 3 fireworks for larger displays in large gardens or stately grounds, or for smaller gardens, Category 2 fireworks are more appropriate. Category 1 fireworks like ice fountains and some indoor sparklers can even be used inside.

Public Events

While not as big as the London New Year’s Eve firework show that is broadcast live on national television, public events often have their own, smaller firework displays to celebrate these occasions. Smaller-scale firework displays might take place in local parks and recreational areas in neighbourhoods. These firework displays are often set up by community groups or organisations that are more experienced in curating firework displays.


Fireworks aren’t always the main event, you might also see them as part of theatrical performances and concerts. Mine fireworks are a popular type of firework used on the front of the stage during music gigs. A mine will shoot light and spark vertically upwards from its position on the stage making entrances more dramatic.

Corporate Displays

Brands and businesses often have reasons to celebrate with firework displays. These might include sports brands that need to arrange displays for sporting events, media brands that require firework displays for events and television, and any business that needs fireworks in their brand colours.

Things to Consider when Planning a Firework Display

When you want to take fireworks into your own hands and organise your own display, or if you’ve been tasked with setting one up, there are several things you’ll need to consider. You need to take into consideration UK laws around fireworks and explosives, the safety of everyone involved, including spectators, and of course the design and quality of your display!

Public Firework Displays

When you’re planning a public firework display, there are lots more variables to consider when keeping everyone safe and minimising risks. HSE’s guide on organising firework displays is helpful in understanding what needs to be considered before, during and after the event. Things to consider include how to mark out areas for spectators, where to store fireworks, how to get fireworks from a reputable firework supplier, what to do in the event of emergence, and how to clear the site afterwards.

Public firework displays usually take place on a piece of publicly-owned land, such as a local park or football field. This means you’re likely to have enough space to safely use Category 3 fireworks, which require a minimum safe viewing distance of 25 metres. Category 3 fireworks offer some of the largest, brightest, and more powerful effects. Here are some fail-safe Cat 3 fireworks we recommend:

Bloodshot Compound Firework

This compound firework means you get a multitude of different shots from lighting it only once. Bloodshot contains gold brocade, red strobe effects, as well as coco tails finishing with gold spinners to crackle, and a blood-red strobe. The firework has a mixed firing pattern giving you a spectacular display with little effort.

Thunder Rockets

No firework display would be complete without rockets. If you don’t include some classic rocket shots your audience will probably feel like something was missing. Thunder rockets are a great option for a public display thanks to their loud whoosh and bang that is usually distinct in rocket fireworks.

Molotov Cocktail Mine

The Molotov Cocktail mine firework is one of our favourites, we even sold out last year! This firework produces 11 shots of multiple heights and colours in quick, dramatic succession. Use this firework at the end of your display for a grand finale.

Private Fireworks Displays

Private displays are a little easier to organise than public ones but by no means less fun. You and your guests will be able to enjoy a firework show in the comfort of the back garden will drinks and snacks on hand (although fireworks shouldn’t be handled when under the influence!).

Unless you’re lucky enough to have a large garden, Category 2 fireworks are the most popular for private garden displays. These fireworks are often called garden fireworks and have a minimum safe viewing distance of 15 metres. Here are some of our favourite garden fireworks:

Zombie Battles Compound Firework

This compound firework has a minimum safe viewing distance of eight metres, making it ideal for smaller gardens. Despite its minimum viewing distance, this firework packs a punch, with three different sets of shots in mixed colours and patterns, 150 shots in all.

Let’s Go Roman Candle

This Roman candle firework features a barrage of brightly coloured stars launched one after the other in quick succession The shots rise vertically, high into the air and turn to bright white blinkers. This is a beautiful traditional firework that makes a great addition to a garden firework display.

Crown 500 Firework Cake

With 19 shots in total, this firework cake is all elegance and grace. Each shot produces an arch of shimmering light in gold and white shades. For those who want a more sophisticated firework display, Crown 500 makes a wonderful opening firework.

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