TICKETS are on sale for the first time ever for Winchester’s annual fireworks celebration.

Organisers Winchester Round Table made the controversial decision to go ticketed earlier this year, citing safety concerns as the main reason.

The event takes place at River Park each year but organisers have said crowds regularly exceed the 21,500 capacity, leading to increased costs.

It has been running for 54 years and previously relied on donations collected on the night, with profits going to several local causes.

Simon Baker, Round Table bonfire chairman, said: "This is an important event that brings together the people of Winchester, and tickets will ensure we can make this a family-friendly enjoyable event for the local community.

"The cost of a £3 ticket will go directly to helping support local charities and good causes, and we've raised over £85,000 in the past four years alone through generous donations from people attending.

"In the past, we've knocked on every door in the city asking for donations, but this year each home will receive a programme, and we ask that people buy a ticket if they are going to attend. We are also aware that many people can't attend, but they are welcome to make a donation to our programme distributors."

Tickets went on sale on October 1 and are available until Friday, November 1. Any tickets remaining on the night, November 2, will cost £5.

Several city businesses have signed up to sell tickets, including: - Winchester Discovery Centre

• Winchester Tourist Information Centre,

• University of Winchester Students Union,

• The Mucky Duck, Hyde,  

• The Bell Inn, St Cross,

• Nanoo Hair, Stockbridge Road,

• Steve's Barber Shop, Oliver’s Battery,

• Rapport Hair, Fulflood,  

• Associates Hair, High Street,

• The Balaka, Weeke.

Members of Round Table will also sell tickets during October weekends at the High Street market.

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