A community joined forces to revive a popular fireworks extravaganza on Saturday (October 31).
It has been many years since Odiham residents were treated to a large fireworks show but all that changed this Halloween as the village enjoyed a spook-tacular themed night.
The community turned out in force to enjoy a superb display, jointly organised by Odiham Parish Council and Hook and Odiham Lions.
The display was preceded by a children’s fancy dress competition, jointly judged by Odiham Parish Council chairman Jon Hale and Hook and Odiham Lions president Roger Sutton.
Cllr Hale said: “Since I moved to Odiham it seemed an extraordinary shame for a community such as ours to be without a fireworks night.
“My understanding is that Odiham had been without one for many years due to the spiralling cost for volunteer and community organisations to insure such events, not to mention the manpower required to run them safely.
“With the parish council already having the required insurance in place, partnering with an experienced organisation like the Hook and Odiham Lions provided the perfect solution.
“This has allowed us to collaboratively deliver a great evening for our community and proved that through our partnership with the Lions, that an Odiham fireworks night is now viable as an annual event.
“The Lions and their army of volunteers did an amazing job of managing the night and the huge success enjoyed by the community is a credit to their efforts.”
Terry Cheesman of Hook and Odiham Lions Club, said: “When councillor Hale approached us to see if we were prepared to partner the parish council in this event, our initial thought was that 12 weeks may be a little short notice.
“However, it was an excellent opportunity to actually do an event we had only been able to imagine in the past.
“After ringing around our many contacts and talking with other Lions clubs we thought we may just be able to put something together.
“The wonderful help, cooperation and enthusiasm of Jon Hale and fellow Odiham parish councillor Jean-Marc David, encouraged us still further and it soon became a roller coaster of meetings, phone calls, emails and preparations.
“Even an hour before opening the gates, ‘last minute’ improvements were still being made and then the tense wait to see if we had ‘pulled it off’.
“But we needn’t have worried as the shear number of thank yous from the departing folk of Odiham said it all. Yes, we will be back again next year.”
The event was held at Odiham’s Beacon Field, but utilised the adjacent farmland with the kind permission of Ford Farm, which provided a huge and safe viewing area at the heart of the community for the estimated 600 spectators.
Cllr Hale said the parish council’s Facebook page has shown the event was a huge hit, with many residents already asking if it can become an annual event.
Odiham’s next event is the Christmas Extravaganza on November 28 from 3pm-7pm.
It is the first time it will be held on a Saturday due to its ever growing popularity.