Bognor Illuminations Gala – organisers hail event as ‘one of the best ever’

Crowds were entranced by the parade. Photo by Alan Barber Photographic
Crowds were entranced by the parade. Photo by Alan Barber Photographic

Around 15,000 people lined the streets in Bognor to watch a colourful parade and spectacular fireworks display this weekend.

The Bognor Illuminations Gala returned to town on Sunday night for one of its best events ever.

Jason Passingham, chairman of the Bognor Regis Seafront Lights which organises the gala, said: “It went exceptionally well this year.

“It was one of the best one’s we’ve ever done.

“The crowd were thick and deep all the way down the parade route. It was very well supported.”

See a gallery of photos from the event here.

The parade kicked off from West Park at 8.30pm, making its way along Marine Drive West, Aldwick Road and West Street before ending at the pier, where at 10pm residents watched the impressive fireworks display.

There were 20 entries to the gala competition this year, with everything from fairies and gnomes to dinosaurs represented in the parade.

Jason said: “It’s about coming out, joining in and having fun. Anything goes!”

At a prize giving ceremony held at the pier, Wonder Girls (and boys) were named winners of the dance troupe category and Harmony Hive won first place in the pram/bicicyle group.

Celebration Samba came first in the walking entry category, while Pitch Black Event Services won first place in the float category.

For the first time this year, a new prize in memory of Erik Jack – the man widely regarded as ‘Mr Bogor Regis’ – was presented by Mr Jack’s wife.

The first winner of the Erik Jack award for innovation was a young boy dressed in a space themed outfit.

Jason said of the award: “It was a nice way to say he may have gone, but we haven’t forgotten him.”

All the funds raised at the event will go towards providing and maintaining Bognor’s seafront lights.

This weekend’s illuminations gala was the 41st ever held, and the 15th event run by Bognor Regis Seafront Lights.

Jason thanked Bognor Town Council, the Bognor Regis BID and Arun District Council for supporting the event.

SEE MORE: Bognor Illuminations Gala dazzles the crowds - full photo gallery here

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