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Fawkes Fest

What is it?


A fun free coastal event, full of simple pleasures and tradition, for schools, groups and all the family at Barry Island Promenade. The event takes place leading up to, and including, Friday 5th November, Guy Fawkes Day and Bonfire Night. Enter your guy (or gal!) into our competition and display it along the promenade for all to see our outdoor Fawkes Fest Guy Gallery. Wrap up warm and pop down to roast some favourites on our Marshmallow Firepits whilst watching a Firedance show with the ocean behind. Brought to you by Beach Academy in partnership with the Vale of Glamorgan Council. 


Build a Guy (or Gal!) Competition & Outdoor Guy Gallery

How do we take part?

The Build a Guy (or Gal) competition will form the main part of a Fawkes Fest celebration. The competition will be open, not only to to all primary schools in the Vale, but to the general public including all uniformed groups, playgroups etc as well as individual families. The community will be able to get involved and we will be encouraging the creation of green guys (and gals) using materials we can recycle after the event and showing them in a gallery on the railings along Barry Island Promenade.  


Step 1 is to register that you are entering.
Do this


Step 2 is to download your ‘HOW TO MAKE A GREEN GUY (OR GAL)’ pack.
Do this


Step 3 is to bring your guy (or gal) to us. Once created (assembled) all guys and gals will need to be brought down (Traditionally guys were pushed in prams and wheelbarrows!) to Barry Island Promenade on the following days and times. There will be a Beach Academy competition desk at the Western end of the Prom near Marcos Cafe and Boofy’s etc where you will need to sign in your competition entry. 

Wednesday 3rd November between 2:30pm and 6:30pm

Thursday 4th November between 2pm and 6pm

Friday 5th November between 12:30pm and 6:30pm


Once signed in, your guy (or gal) will be placed in our outdoor ‘Fawkes Fest Guy Gallery’ along the promenade railings at Whitmore Bay (Barry Island Beach). The idea is that this gallery, exhibiting the guys and gals, is visible to all in the community, as is tradition, to passers by, locals and visitors to the area.  

How will the guys (or gals) be judged?

The public will be the judges! Each guy (or gal) will have an old fashioned numbered jar with it labelled ‘Penny for the Best Guy’. Passers by simply place a penny in the jar of their favourites. At the end of the competition we count up the pennies in each jar. The ones with the most wins. This also encourages families to go down to the beach to put pennies in their school one! Penny counting will take place by the Beach Academy team between 7pm and 7:45pm. Winners will be announced at 8pm on Friday 5th November on the Promenade and the prize winner awarded our Top Guy Trophy.

Can I bring, or make, a guy (or gal) to add to the Promenade Guy Gallery but not enter the competition?

Yes of course - Only guys (or gals) with numbered jars will be judged. If you change your mind, pop to the Beach Academy welcome desk and we can give you a competition entry. 

What happens to all the pennies?

100% of all monies (penny jars) collected will be given to the The Welsh Burns Centre in Swansea. 

What happens to all the guys (or gals)?

They will be dismantled and all materials separated ready for recycling by the Vale Council. 

Marshmallow Firepits

Our marshmallow firepits will create a ring of fire and will be manned by members of the South Wales Fire Service. They will be lit between 4:30pm and 7pm on Friday 5th November. Public are welcome to bring their own marshmallows for roasting or can get them on the night.  


Fire Show

We will be joined on Friday 5th November by the amazing Two Cheeky Monkeys with their incredible fire show. The 30 minute spectacular will start at 7pm as part of Fawkes Fest. So grab a chair or picnic blanket and come and watch the sparks fly on the coast. Eastern end of the promenade between 3 and 4.    


Is anything else happening at Fawkes Fest on the 5th November?

Yes. Firework Facepainting: Available from 4:30pm to 6:30pm and Fire Engine Special Appearance: The south wales team are bringing their engine for the kids to see and play games from 1pm to 3:30pm near 4. Fancy dress highly encouraged to add to the atmosphere.


Is it all free?

All Fawkes Fest Activities are free, brought to you by Beach Academy in partnership with the Vale of Glamorgan Council. 


Covid Considerations

Be safe. If you feel unwell with any of the classic 3 Covid symptoms (new persistent cough, loss of taste or smell or fever), please do not attend the event. It’s also advised you bring a hand sanitiser. The event is outdoors so face masks are not mandatory. 

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