Devizes Confetti Battle returns after three-year break

  • Watch the confetti battle in action

The annual confetti battle returned to Devizes last Saturday (September 3) after a three-year break over the course of the pandemic.

Organised by Devizes Outdoor Celebratory Arts (DOCA), people of all ages gathered in Devizes Market Square to take part in the event, which attracts over 3,500 people per year.

The tradition dates back to as early as 1913 when confetti and petals were thrown at the procession during the Devizes Carnival.

In 1955, it evolved into a fully-fledged battle, started by the former mayor of Devizes Jim Jennings.

Before the event, visitors buy bags of confetti and this year, the 8pm countdown saw thousands of people prepare to launch confetti into the air.

In total, around 1700 bags of confetti were sold. All funds raised at the event have been put towards DOCA’s community projects.

Director of DOCA Ashley Peevor thinks the tradition is likely to be the only one of its kind.

He said: “It does seem like there’s nowhere else that creates this confetti battle, from the research I’ve done.

“Confetti is launched from the windows around Devizes marketplace, everyone’s throwing it into the air, canons are going off, it’s this chaotic explosion of colour.

“This being the first event in quite a few years definitely added to the excitement.

“People think of these traditions and assume it’s for younger people, but the older generation loves it. I even saw grandparents getting competitive and throwing confetti at their children and grandkids.

1700 bags of confetti filled the sky Credit: Graham Luckhurst

“We’re hoping to keep growing and growing so that next year we can make the event even bigger.”

In addition to the confetti battle, in 2017, a colour rush 5K route was added to the fundraiser.

Ashley said: “Last year we added an accessible route to our colour rush run and this year both of the routes came together, so everyone experienced the final three paint stations together.

“It was incredible to see such a diverse range of people cross the finish line together, some in wheelchairs, some in electric wheelchairs, buggies, people of all different ages. Everyone seemed to have a great time.”

Devizes Outdoor Celebratory works with Devizes Town Council to clean up the event.

Paint from the colour rush is made from corn starch and all confetti sold is biodegradable

The event is also supported by Wiltshire Council and Arts Council England.