Walsall Council moves to ban balloons and sky lanterns

As part of a wider nationwide initiative, the release of balloons and sky lanterns are set to be banned on Walsall council-owned or maintained grounds.

A new policy, which will be released on the Walsall Council website soon, will also encourage private landowners and event organisers to look at more eco-friendly options , including the planting of trees and digital fireworks as an alternative.

In a meeting held on 7 February, the council said that the releasing of balloons or sky lanterns is often a chosen way to mark an event, commemoration, or celebration. However, while these tributes are carried out with good intent, they can be damaging to the environment and present a fire hazard with ignited lanterns causing potential harm to open spaces and residential areas.

“Our priority is to create a cleaner, greener borough, where nature is respected and protected, and our parks and open spaces support the health and wellbeing of our residents and visitors,” said Councillor Gary Flint, Portfolio Holder for Wellbeing, Leisure and Public Spaces.

“This ban may have some small impacts upon third-party events which intend to generate income, but the council feels that the benefits of safeguarding our environment and preserving the natural beauty of our borough far outweigh the costs.

“As a council, we recognise the cultural significance and emotional value that balloon and lantern releases hold for various communities. To address this, accessible and affordable alternatives such as memorial walks, candles in jam jars, and community tree planting initiatives will be promoted, ensuring that diverse groups can continue to express themselves in environmentally friendly ways.”

160 councils across Britain have now banned the release of balloon and sky lanterns.



Win tickets to BoatLife 2024 at the NEC Birmingham

Pioneer Magazines has teamed up with BoatLife 2024, the UK’s largest indoor boat show, to give away a pair of tickets to the upcoming event at the NEC Birmingham.

Running from 15 to 18 February, BoatLife 2024 kicks off the boating season in style with something for the whole family to enjoy!

Alongside 200+ boats on show from the biggest brands, enjoy live shows and exciting demos presented by the biggest experts in the business.

It’s not just about boats either! If you love the outdoor life, get set to explore the diverse range of outdoor equipment, while enjoying a wide range of family activities.

Why not take the kids to the indoor pool for a chance to test out some of the latest paddleboards and kayaks, or have a go on the outdoor Isuzu trail?

Keen to get started on a new watersports adventure? Check out the wide range of water sports equipment and latest clothing lines.

Explore the Angling Zone, which returns with all the equipment and supplies you need to start or continue with your fishing adventures.

Meanwhile, the Inland Zone caters for visitors interesting in barges, narrowboats and river cruisers with well-known ambassadors on hand to answer your questions.

More information can be found at: https://www.boatlifeevents.com/

Tickets for BoatLife 2024

  • Children under 16 enter for free
  • Free ticket arrangement for disabled visitors with accompanying carers.
  • Secure your tickets now at boatlifetickets.com (currently tickets are £15+£1 each, but £20 if you buy at the gate)


Win tickets to BoatLife 2024

To be in with a chance of winning a pair of tickets, simply head over to our competition post on our Pioneer Magazines Facebook page.

  • LIKE the post
  • Comment on the post
  • Share the post

Alternatively, email community@pioneermagazines.co.uk to enter using the subject line “BoatLife 2024 competition”.


  • Prize: One pair of tickets for BoatLife 2024
  • The winner will be drawn using a random number generator from all entries via social media and email.
  • The closing date for entries is Monday, 12 February at noon GMT.
  • The winner will be announced on our Facebook page and notified within two hours of competition closed.
  • The prize will be delivered as 2 x codes. Pioneer Magazines will send you a booking link where you can enter the code to redeem the tickets for any day of the event.
  • Prizes are non-transferable, not for resale and there is no cash alternative.
  • the prize does not include any other expenses incurred by the winner and/or their guest/s whilst at BoatLife 2024, including but not limited to travel, food and beverage, retail and any other costs incurred.
  • Reasonable efforts by Pioneer Magazines will be made to contact the winner. If the winner cannot be contacted, or is unable to comply with these terms and conditions, Pioneer Magazines reserves the right to offer the prize to the next eligible entrant drawn at random.

Popular Piano Prodigy Bringing His Music To Walsall

One of the UK’s most exciting young jazz musicians is coming to Walsall!

Following the release last year of his debut albim ‘Home’, The Eddie Gripper Trio are now touring and will perform at The Table on Lower Hall Lane in Walsall on 29 January 2024.

Described a piano prodigy, Eddie started playing pians a the age of 11. From the press release:

“At a very young age, Eddie Gripper has proved an incredible prowess on his instrument of choice, clearly demonstrating an innate talent that would often take a lifetime to achieve. This is very much evident on Eddie’s debut album Home, a captivating body of work that perfectly showcases the young pianist’s expertise in an exquisite light.”

The Eddie Gripper Trio

Playing alongside Ursula Harrison on double bass and Isaac Zuckerman on drums, The Eddie Gripper Trio has performed at numerous festivals and music venues and have gained plenty of accolades along the way.

Backed by Jazz Midlands, the performance will take place at 7.30pm. Tickets are priced £10 per person and can be booked via TicketTailor.

Walsall Arboretum 150th Anniversary Celebrations

Walsall Council will be celebrating the 150th anniversary of the town’s Arboretum later this year.

Officially opened on 4 May 1874, the Arboretum will play host to a series of events over the May Bank Holiday weekend in 2024.

Walsall Arboretum

This will include exhibitions detailing the history of the Arboretum with a full schedule of events due to be announced later this year.

The Walsall Arboretum currently attracts over 1 million people per year, spans over 170 acres and is home to over 10,000 different species of trees and shrubs.

“The Arboretum is one of Walsall’s most loved and cherished attractions which holds memories for generations of people,” said Walsall Councillor Gary Flint, Portfolio Holder for Wellbeing, Leisure and Public Spaces.

“For 150 years it has been a place for exercise, play, relaxation, community activities, as well as providing a home for wildlife and nature to flourish. In this important year, we will be showcasing all the fantastic work, the people that make it what it is, and encouraging residents and community members to connect with their local green spaces.”

Walsall Firework Displays – 2022

Walsall Council has confirmed that three community bonfire and firework displays will take place across the borough this November.

fireworks in walsall sky

Starting with a display at King George V Playing Fields on Friday November 4, further bonfire events at Walsall Arboretum and Willenhall Memorial Park will take place on Saturday 5 November.

As well as the traditional lighting of the bonfire and a fireworks display, a fun fair and food and drink stalls will be available at each park.

Walsall Firework Displays Ticket Prices Frozen

Ticket prices remain the same as the last time Walsall held fireworks displays in 2019 and there’s also an early bird offer for those who purchase tickets before 21 October.

Each event starts at 5pm and finishes at 7.20 and an early bird family ticket costs £18, plus a booking fee.

Councillor Gary Flint, Portfolio Holder for Public Health, said:

“Our bonfire events are very popular with families in and around Walsall. As a result of the pandemic, the last events were held in 2019 and we know they have been sorely missed. Advance ticket admission makes our events easier to access on the night and helps us to keep our focus on providing a safe, family friendly and fun evening for all. It’s a great opportunity for people to enjoy their local parks and see some truly fantastic firework displays.”

Tickets can only be bought in advance and won’t be available on the day.

Related News

Sandwell Council Announces Biggest Ever Firework Display

Sandwell Council is promising its biggest ever firework display this year with a local park transformed with the theme of “Sandwell Goes Global”.

Two evenings of entertainment are planned for Friday and Saturday night, 4-5 November 2022 between 5-9pm.

On Friday, visitors will be invited to attend an Illuminated Garden and Playground by Night event, which will see the park lit up with colourful displays.

Numerous family-friendly activities will be available, including crafts and theatre shows, as well as a special children’s TV star surprise on the main stage.

Full line-up for the Illuminated Garden – 2022

  • Play by Night in the illuminated adventure playground
  • Enjoy the splash pad lit up
  • Beautiful garden lighting
  • Family theatre performance
  • Take That tribute act
  • Family craft activities
  • Bubble displays
  • Carnevale Zone with 8 large fair rides and lots of junior rides and stalls
  • The Island Family Zone with steel pan performances and entertainers
  • Meet our mermaid in the Island Family Zone
  • The Night Souk Food Zone with 15 street food stalls from around the world
  • The China Town Food Zone with eight food stalls including woodfire pizza
  • Bar
  • Fire dancing performance
  • Stilt walkers
  • Shopping street with everything from light-up toys to early Christmas gifts

The fireworks display will be on the Saturday night. As well as funfair rides, the Night Souk Food Zone and a Street Bazaar, the choreographed routine will be the biggest the borough has ever seen.

Full line-up for the Sandwell Fireworks Display 2022

  • Biggest ever fireworks display in Sandwell
  • Little Mix tribute act
  • Thunderchunky
  • Drag Queen Traya Buns
  • Bhangra Smash Up
  • Carnevale Zone with 8 large fair rides and lots of junior rides and stalls
  • VIP zone with premium viewing cocktails and prosecco
  • The Island Family Zone with steel pan performances and entertainers
  • The Night Souk Food Zone with 15 street food stalls from around the world
  • The China Town Food Zone with eight food stalls including woodfire pizza
  • Bar
  • Fire dancing performance
  • Stilt walkers
  • Shopping street with everything from light-up toys to early Christmas gifts

This is a ticketed event and prices can be found on the Visit Sandwell website.

Local Halloween And Christmas Events – 2022

Halloween, Bonfire Night and Christmas are just around the corner and there’s no time like the present to get your calendar filled in.

Halloween Events

Big Fish Little Fish, Halloween Family Rave – DJ Joe Hunt at The Nightingale Club. Suitable for families with children of all ages including babies. Expect an authentic, fa-boo-lous nightclub experience with light effects – at a noise level suitable for little ears. Expect a multi-sensory dancefloor filled with confetti cannons, bubbles, snow, balloons and a fab parachute dance finale.Craft tables making monster rave crowns. Large colouring-in mural. Playdough table. Toddler and baby chillout areas. Free transfer tattoos. Licensed bar. Fancy dress is optional but encouraged!

More details here: https://bigfishlittlefishevents.com/

Miss Sylvia Sceptre Presents The Library of Eerie Tales at The Coffin Works on Saturday 29th October, 6.30pm. For ages 18+

Step into the shadows this Halloween and experience an evening of unearthly delights. Madame Sceptre’s macabre show of magic and mystery will bring a shiver to your spine and a frisson of the absurd to Halloween as the night draws in. Madame Sceptre is a character created from  Victorian Spiritualism. She immerses audiences in the world of Victorian occultism and witchcraft. Expect magic, mirth and hauntology.

More details here: http://www.coffinworks.org/coffinworks/miss-sylvia-sceptre-the-library-of-eerie-tales/

Bonfire Night: Walsall Council have assured residents that Bonfire Night events will return at three locations this year, the Arboretum, Willenhall Memorial Park and King George V in Bloxwich. On the 4th, 5th and 6th November. Keep your eyes peeled on the council website for more details and times.

Christmas Events

Dudley Zoo have announced that for the first time in 2 years, Santa is back with ‘The Chronicles of Dudley Castle’. The popular grotto in the 11th Century Castle have already put their tickets on sale. Opening from December 1st 2022 to Christmas Eve, be quick to book your slot.


Tales from Acorn Wood stories by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler are brought to life on stage at Birmingham Hippodrome for the first time in an enchanting lift-the-flap experience.

This special Christmas show also features Squirrel’s Snowman – can you help her find everything she needs to build a snowman?

Packed full of toe-tapping songs, puppetry, and all the friends from Acorn Wood, this beautiful show from the team that brought you Dear Zoo Live and Dear Santa promises to be the perfect festive treat for children aged 18 months to 6 years.

More details: https://www.birminghamhippodrome.com/calendar/tales-from-acorn-wood/

If you know of any great events coming up that we can feature on the Pioneer and Small House Big Trips website, please do get in touch with us.

This article was written by Small House Big Trips.

Musicals That Rock Explodes Onto Stage In Cannock

After a fantastic performance in their last theatre outing, Sister Act, the Aldridge Musical Comedy Society (AMCS) are back for a concert that promises to rock the Prince of Wales Theatre in Cannock next month.

Taking place on 25-26 November, Musicals That Rock features a strong cast of talented singers taking to the stage to perform some of the world’s most popular rock songs, including ‘Bat out of Hell’, ‘American Idiot’ and ‘We Will Rock You’.

Note: 24 November performance is cancelled.

Performances commence at 7.30pm on both the Friday and Saturday with prices set at £12 per adult, £8 for children and £10 for concessions.

Tickets can be booked via the Prince of Wales theatre website: https://boxoffice.wlct.org/event_description.aspx?eventid=1151

Walsall Scare Maze Back For Halloween 2022

Featuring live actors and special effects, the Walsall Scare Maze is back for its fifth year to scare the living daylights out of people this Halloween.


Following the success of last year’s Bunker 41 maze, the immersive attraction, which is based at 41 Birchills Street, opens on October 1 and runs until November 5 with a brand-new theme called “The Scarehouse”

The story goes that the house was once occupied by the master of fear, a man who was behind the opening of some of the UK’s most terrifying haunted houses.

The building was turned into a macabre museum, but guests started to go missing so the museum closed and now lays abandoned and decaying.

With strange noises reportedly still coming from the cellar of this delapidated building, you are invited to explore it and discover its mysteries.

For more information, opening dates and time and tickets, visit > https://www.walsallscaremaze.co.uk/

Free Walsall Park Events Encourage Residents to “Tri-It”

Two sporting events, inspired by the Birmingham Commonwealth Games, are taking place at Walsall parks this week.

The “Tri-it” events are totally free and give Walsall residents the opportunity to try different sports.

Willenhall Memorial Park, one of the “Tri-it” venues. Credit: Inspirock.

On Thursday 4 August 2022 from 1.30pm, head to Reedswood Park and take part in a number of activities, including cricket, bowls, kabadi and much more.

From 1.30pm on Friday 5 August 2022, Willenhall Memorial Park is the venue for the next “Tri-it” event with activities including judo and wheelchair basketball.

Both events are free of charge and you do not need to book in advance.

Related News