There happen to be certain folks right here in Carrboro, NC who, at an undisclosed location, celebrate a holiday that may be unknown to you. Each November 5th, lots of people of British origin, and many, many who are not, celebrate Guy Fawkes Day.

It seems in 1605, this chap and some co-conspirators tried to burn down the Parliament. The celebration is to commemorate either their unsuccessful effort, or the saving of the Parliament and King James I, depending on whose version of history you rely on.
Local freedom fighters start the fire
Fireworks return to the revelry Either way, it's loads of fun as we gather for a wonderful potluck dinner, with the hostess preparing traditional British repast, while all other guests bring their favorite dish and drink.

Traditionally the holiday includes a feast, fireworks, a bonfire, and the burning of an effigy of Guy Fawkes. I remember one year in particular when a now dead senator's head graced the top of our our scarecrow. With the year 2000 came a sad command from state officials. Due to extremely dry conditions, for the first time ever in the history of mankind, the celebration was held with no bonfire and no fireworks. All seemed bleak as the edict was announced in our household. Normally fires aren't allowed in the city limits, but this celebration was grandfathered in years ago when it was first celebrated here in Carrboro.
Then there was the year when no less than 20 kids were running around the yard as firetrucks invaded our celebration. A new neighbor called them in a panic at the sight of the fire, and children squealed with glee as the hostess scrambled to locate the burning permit.

While we were all certain the year 2000 edict presented the end of an era, it didn't turn out that way. We are allowed our complete celebration, weather permitting. Will there be a bonfire this year? We shall see.
The 2003 bonfire
If you would like to know more about the history of Guy Fawkes Day and the "Gunpowder Plot" that brought it all on, click here for the history on the Britannia website.
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