THIS YEAR’S REPORT
The Lantern-Makers turned out in full force on Saturday 02 December to take part in this year’s Lantern Parade, the culmination of the month-long Stony Stratford Lantern Project which was another massive success with 270 lanterns made. Frame-making sessions were held at 5 local schools plus 2 full weekends of public workshops at York House Centre saw the building packed to the rafters with people of all ages. Their happy chatter made for a great community atmosphere and The Coffee Bean provided a fabulous café to keep us all fed and watered with drinks, snacks and bacon sarnies.
This year’s theme was ‘Santa’s Workshop’ which inspired local families to create an AMAZING array of colourful lanterns. There were presents galore, toy cars, boats and trains, yummy treats like candy canes, lollipops and gingerbread men (and a gingerbread house too), My Little Pony, Rubik’s Cubes, Minions and Pokemon, Jack-in-the-Boxes and rocking horses plus, of course, Father Christmas himself and a host of elves, reindeer and even a monkey and a polar bear to help him on his way!
The Lantern Volunteers excelled themselves again this year by creating a special giant lantern for the back of the parade. ‘Elvis the Elf’ wowed the crowds and was great fun to make. Thank you to Festive Road in Kiln Farm for lending us some workshop space to make him as he was far too big to fit in to York House!
The weather was a little damp but it didn’t deter the crowds who’d come along to watch. The streets of Stony Stratford were packed with thousands of amazed onlookers all along the route to the Market Square. The procession was led by Stony’s own Town Crier and the Bernese Carting Dogs and we had not 1, but 2 drumming groups this year – Pete Lockwood & the Samba Band from Bushfield School and Nkiru Arts Drummers. Everything went to plan and we arrived in the Market Square in time to enjoy the festivities before the switching-on of the beautiful Christmas lights. A magical event for everyone involved, creating Christmassy memories to treasure!
Many thanks, as always, to the unstoppable team of over 50 Lantern Volunteers who give hours of their time and a massive amount of energy to make this spectacular community arts project possible, to Bob Adams and his team of Stewards for keeping us all safe during the parade and to the CLASS Committee for organising the Switch-On Fun Day.
Grateful thanks to our funders – Milton Keynes Community Foundation, Stony Stratford Town Council and Stony Stratford Business Association – for their continued support, helping us to keep the project affordable for all.
Shall we do it all again in 2018? Of course we will!! Make sure you pre-book your lanterns from 01/10/18.
Join our Facebook Group – Stony Stratford Lantern Project
The Stony Stratford Lantern Project
is an exciting community arts project which sees people of all ages joining together at York House Centre to make lanterns ready for the Lantern Procession which takes place every year as part of the Stony Stratford Switch-On Fun Day.
Anyone can make a lantern (although young children will need help). Our lanterns are made from willow withies and masking tape which is then covered with colourful tissue paper and PVA glue and lit from within by a candle.
and for more pictures and videos visit our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/161331770478/ and, for a link to Derek Gibbons’s video: https://www.facebook.com/derek.gibbons99/videos/10209356699853043/?__mref=message_bubble
Photos (mostly) by Bob McDonald – thanks, Bob.
The Stony Stratford Lantern Project is an exciting community arts project which sees people of all ages joining together at York House Centre to make lanterns ready for the Lantern Procession which takes place every year as part of the Stony Stratford Switch-On Fun Day. IN 2017 THIS WILL BE DECEMBER 2ND.