Lewes greets the Wild West

Wild West courtesy of Commercial Square
Wild West courtesy of Commercial Square
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Commercial Square Bonfire Society Chair Sharon Reid declares: “We will continue to uphold the traditions of Bonfire and take pride in our Society, preserving what our forefathers have passed on to us - our right to walk the streets on the Fifth, all the while working hard to ensure that you and those around you stay safe.”

Staying safe and delivering a sensational bonfire and firework display run in tandem with Commercial Square’s mastery of a sensational range of costumes from soldiers of the American Civil War to the Valencians.

North America features prominently in celebrations with Native Americans in magnificent headdresses leading processions. Ladies of the Society - who have been asiduously sewing beads onto ‘suede’ jerkins - almost outdo their menfolk for splendour. There’s even a facsimile of an Indian Totem Pole plus, of course, medicine men, sun dancers, devil dancers and Apaches in full tribal regalia.

Commercial Square parade teams are always ably accompanied by magnificent live music. This year listen out for the Lewes, Glynde and Beddingham Brass, Barcombe Scout Band, thrumming rhythms of the Barulho Samba Band and foot tapping New Orleans syncopation from the Dixieland Jazz Band.

The children’s procession leaves at 5.10pm from Society HQ at the Elephant and Castle. At 5.45pm the Procession of Remembrance takes place with a floral tribute laid reverently at the War Memorial, followed by the moving notes of The Last Post. The third procession heads through the town from 6.45pm prior to the 8.30pm joint procession with Waterloo, Borough and kindred societies. At 9.30pm the Grand Procession leads to the Society’s Landport firesite where effigies of Guy Fawkes and Pope Paul V, set pieces and the Grand Tableau are ritualistically destroyed - before the event Commercial Square members and followers have been waiting for - the firework display. Look out for whorls, shells, stratosphere scraping rockets and Roman Candles scrolling technicolour images in the night sky.