Lions seek sponsors for firework displayBy Julie Spencer
September 20, 2012
The Lions Club’s fireworks display in Lower Earley will go ahead this year, but organisers are still desperately seeking sponsors.
The Laurel Park display, described as the best within 50 miles of Reading, will take place on Saturday, November 3, despite fears over funding and parking.
Last year, ticket dodgers clogged roads as they parked up on pavements to find a free vantage point to watch the professionally-staged spectacle.
They caused traffic chaos and also dented profits for the Woodley and Earley Lions Club, which funds the display out of reserves, rather than the money it raises for good causes.
Mike Tarling, event coordinator, said: “We will definitely be going ahead, but we are still desperate for people to support us financially.
“It will be a high impact display to music which will last for between 15 and 20 minutes and is probably the best display for 50 miles around Reading.
“This year we are being supported by Securitas who responded to an article in The Wokingham Times about our financial shortfall and are very community conscious in our area.
“Having been referred to the safety advisory group at Wokingham Borough Council we have found that all departments there have been very helpful as well.”
Tickets prices have been frozen for the fourth year and will cost £7.50 for adults, £5 for under-14s and £20 for a family ticket, although running costs have risen by 30 per cent on the year.
In 2011, the club spent £12,000 on the Bonfire Night show which wowed a crowd of 3,500 at Laurel Park, raising £25,00 for charities.
However, police estimated that 1,500 flocked to the area to watch the show for free from streets around the park.
This year, drivers will be directed to Asda and there will be no access to the display site from Laurel Park – spectators will be directed through Sellafield Way, Marefield Way and the lake entrance.
Mr Tarling added: “We are very grateful for Asda for letting us use their site for parking and we are urging people to come and support the event.
“If we do not make a profit to replace the reserves we spend, we will not be able to continue to run this display.”
The gates will open at 6pm on Saturday, November 3, and the fireworks will be lit at 7pm.
Anyone willing to sponsor the Firework Spectacular or anyone who wishes to join the Lions should call 0845 833 9863 or go to www.lionsofwoodleyandearley.org.uk.