Fire was the theme of the evening on November 2 at Forest Heights Academy. The annual event celebrating Guy Fawkes attempt to blow up the House of Lords in 1605 was again enacted at Forest Heights Academy. Following the traditional English celebration of the gunpowder plot, fire crackers, bon fire, fireworks and six “guys” ready to be burnt were set in the far field at the edge of the high school lawn. The event was held three days ahead of time, but at a more convenient date as it fell on a Friday.
By dusk, a large crowd of students, teachers, parents and supporters had gathered on the school grounds. Hot dogs and hamburgers were grilled on the premises, all the trimmings offered on a table that also displayed an array of mouth-watering desserts. According to the Principal, James Richard, all the dinner tickets had been sold long ahead of time.
While adults ate, children were lighting the field with sparklers, running around and tug-of-wars.
As night set in, Mr. Richard attempted to light a bon fire, made of pine wood shaped as a tepee. After sprinkling the wood with gasoline under the watchful eyes of members of the fire department, he soon had a fire roaring. A fire truck was parked nearby in a convenient spot, firemen prepared to interfere in case of trouble. A little further, six “guys” were aligned in a row, ready for the fate that awaited them. They had been made by students and teachers and had been inspired by recent Halloween horror figures such as Dracula, his red-haired bride, Frankenstein and more.
The bon fire finally flaming high attracted the crowd which gathered around the scene, mesmerized by the flames. It was time to set the “guys” on fire, a task that Mr. Richard delighted in, not only dousing the puppets with kerosene, but also sliding in a few firecrackers among their clothes. Soon all the heads were looking up as bits of flaming material rose in the air, falling down in ashes. Then the tepee of the bon fire collapsed sending sparks everywhere while the last puppet, Dracula’s bride, was thrown in the bon fire for good measure.
No Guy Fawkes celebration would be perfect without fireworks, so the arsonist-in-chief kept at his task, sending a display of sparkling colors rising towards the starlit sky, the echo of the back fire reverberated by the nearby hills.