Ten Guys compete to top bonfire at Grant Park ahead of fireworks display organised by Forres Rotary and Fireworx Scotland
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AT least 4000 people from all over Moray and Nairn attended another successful Guy Fawkes night at Grant Park organised by Forres Rotary.
On Saturday evening, attendees enjoyed spectacular fireworks from the country’s leading display firm, vans selling food, drink and light-up toys, and - once it got going - a huge bonfire topped with effigies that had been entered in a best Guy contest.
Rotary fireworks convenor Carlo Miele is grateful to everyone who donated to collection boxes, or via a QR code, for 2024's event.
He said: "The donations are still being counted but we are confident the generosity will mean we have enough to stage a display next year.
"This year's went very well - it could never have happened without the efforts of our volunteers."
Fellow Rotarian Ken McLennan was also pleased with the response to Saturday night's entertainment.
He said: "All our planning paid off! The number of people who volunteered to help - especially AJ Engineering, the bucket rattlers and 39 Engineer Regiment - made it so much easier to organise. It’s great when the community pulls together!
"Feedback I got from people on the way out included 'Thank you!', 'Fantastic display' and 'We hope you do the same next year'!
"One of our bucket collectors said they did not realise there were so many people in Forres, though folk travelled from Inverness, Nairn and Aberlour to name but a few places elsewhere."
Saturday started at 11am with a best Guy competition at Grant Park - every entry received £10 and the winner got £30.
A total of 10 Guys were entered by the Kestrels, Hawks, Owls and Merlins from 1st Forres Scout Group, 1st Forres Brownies and 2nd Forres Boys' Brigade Company, as well Anderson's, Dyke, Dallas and Logie Primary Schools.
Rotary president Doreen McCaig confirmed Dallas' entry was judged to be the best.
She said: "Their guy carried the story of our carbon footprint and its effect on the future of our world.
"As always, the standard was high, but this year, environmental issues played a strong influence in the designs. Each group was enthusiastic about their creations and the pleasure they got from making them."
Dallas Head Teacher Mrs Mairi Grant confirmed her pupils discussed their designs a week before the event, choosing 'Global Guy' by P6 pupils Timmy Edwards, Arthur Schiller and Gregory Davis to submit.
She said: "All of the children helped make him. P1/2 pupils stuffed his body with straw and P3-7 worked on his hands, feet and globe head covered with factories, cars and other pollutants."
Dallas P5-7s wrote a poem for Global Guy to hold which read: 'We must protect our planet so we made this Global Guy.
'He raises awareness of sustainability and pollution in our sky.
'He’s made from natural materials, so his fumes will be ok!
'We must protect our planet for the future and today!’
Mrs Grant finished: "The children put lots of thought into their message and everyone contributed to making him look great."
P7 pupil Aila Gibson was happy the school's Guy won but was sorry to see him burn.
She said: "We all put a lot of effort into it so I was a little sad to see him go up in smoke!"
All of the Guys took pride of place on top of the bonfire stack of crates, moved 20 feet further away from the crowd and up the hill away from last year's position, and lit at 6.30pm.
Mr Miele said: "The bonfire was slow to get going as the wood was stacked outside for most of last week so it was soaked. On the recommendation of the fire officer, we used an air blower to get it going. There will be a few tweaks for next year."
Mr McLennan was grateful to all of the partner agencies who ensured the evening's entertainment went smoothly.
"With the support from Police Scotland, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and Moray Council, we had all of the contingencies covered. First aid cover Outfit Moray had a quiet night.
"We will do more in future to accommodate disabled parking as the spaces provided were full by the advertised time of 6pm so some attendees had to find alternatives."
He finished: "The fantastic display put on by Fireworx Scotland was reinforced by the huge smiles on the faces of everyone leaving Grant Park afterwards.
"We will be back on November 2, 2024 - anyone interested in working with us on the plans should contact Carlo or myself."