After a disappointing 2013, organisers of Long Melford’s Big Night Out hope to have raised lots of money for charity.
Last year, a mixture of bad weather, date clashes and a lack of big fair ground rides was blamed for a poor turnout, leading to the fireworks spectacular failing to donate any money for the first time in its history.
This year, money taken on the gate at Friday’s event, together with feedback from visitors, left event administrator Andrew Hagger feeling much more confident.
“We definitely made a profit – it’s going to be a good one,” he said. “I am a very happy man.”
Thankfully, the weather held out this year to help boost numbers, but Mr Hagger admitted he was still mystified why last year was such a flop.
Gate receipts are expected to double that of 2013 and Mr Hagger said he was excited to see exactly how much money the organising committee will be able to donate to good causes when all the proceeds are counted up.
Reviews on the Free Press Facebook page were mainly positive following the event, with Kelly Mills saying: “I thoroughly enjoyed Big Night Out, as did my family.
“The fireworks were probably the best we’ve seen in a while and, just when you thought it was the end, another lot would go off.”
Several readers were also in favour of the decision to not have any backing music.
Harold Spengler said: “More emphasis on the ‘bang’ of the fireworks and less emphasis on Like a Prayer by Madonna.”
Despite this, Mr Hagger said he was already in negotiations with sponsors for next year who would like to see the music brought back.
Another major change was the food. Project Seven, which organised the event, ran one of the food tents, but there were less food retailers on site.
This disappointed Karen Hearnden, who said: “We queued up a couple of times – there was just not enough food outlets.”