Hackney Council is urging residents attending this year’s fireworks spectacular on Saturday 5 November in Clissold Park to dress up as animals – and it is insisting that none will be harmed during the pyrotechnics extravaganza.
Bob and Dylan, the Anglo-Nubian goats, will be safely tucked up in their “house”, a council spokesperson confirmed, and all the animals in Clissold Park’s zoo, including its aviary birds and deer herd, have been checked over by a vet to ensure they will not be disturbed by the fireworks or music.
Tickets for the event range in price from £2.50 to £8.50 and the capacity this year is a huge 12,000 – meaning attendees could end up being packed like sardines.
Free tickets have also been made available via a prize draw, and some have been dished out to charities.
Other councils are putting on completely free fireworks displays, however – which might get some residents’ goat.
A Hackney Council spokesperson said: “The display is self-financing, the cost of the event is covered predominantly by ticket sales, but also by trader concession fees.
“Any surplus from our events contributes towards the upkeep and general maintenance of our parks.”
They added: “This year’s theme is animals, and residents are encouraged to channel their wild side and dress up as their favourite animals – be it Simba from The Lion King, Shere Khan from The Jungle Book or just a cheeky monkey.”
Non-Disney animals are also available.
The council says the fireworks have been “specially tested to ensure the welfare of animals in the park”, adding: “They are low noise so all wild things will have an enjoyable experience on the night.”
In recent years Clissold Park has played host to several controversies involving animals.
In 2011 activists from now defunct group Clissold Park Zoo Watch protested after one of the captive deer was killed by a dog that had gotten into its enclosure.
Last year the Environment Agency carried out mass poisoning of topmouth gudgeon, an invasive fish species swimming in the park’s ponds, to try and stop their spread, and a public outcry forced the council to do a U-turn on its plan to “humanely” kill several foxes in the park amid concerns their burrows were endangering the deer.
There have also been successive attempts to extirpate the invasive terrapins from the park’s ponds.
In addition, there have been noise complaints from Stoke Newington residents about the large numbers of ring-necked parakeets that fly freely about the park and which make a notoriously screechy noise.
The park’s butterfly house, meanwhile, has been closed this year after it was found not to be suitable for the exotic species it displayed.
Fireworks display attendees are free to dress up as deer, fish, foxes, butterflies, terrapins or parakeets should they so wish.