Stony Stratford Lantern Project 2016 – a mystical magical success

The Lantern-Makers turned out in full force on Saturday to take part in this year’s Lantern Parade, the culmination of the month-long Stony Stratford Lantern Project which was another sell-out success with 280 lanterns made.  The frame-making sessions held at 4 local schools plus 2 full weekends of public workshops saw York House Centre 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.

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This year’s theme was ‘A Mystical Magical Christmas’ which inspired local families to create an AMAZING array of colourful lanterns including owls, unicorns, rainbows, toadstools, fairies, wizard’s hats, wizard’s cats, a fabulous phoenix, a massive Pegasus and all sorts of mythical creatures!


There was a special giant lantern at the back of the parade this year.  ‘Spike the Dragon’ took the Lantern Volunteers over a month to make but we had a fantastic time creating him, and the reaction from the crowd made all our efforts worthwhile.  Many thanks to Festive Road in Kiln Farm for lending us some space in their workshop (he was too big to fit in to York House!)


The weather was perfect and the streets of Stony Stratford were packed with crowds of amazed onlookers as the Lantern Parade made its way to the Market Square.  The procession was led by the ‘Wizard of Brill’ and the Bernese Carting Dogs with Pete Lockwood & Friends providing us with some samba beats.  We welcomed the Mayor & Mayoress of Milton Keynes and presented them with their very own Christmas tree lantern, made by the York House Senior Youth Club.  Everything went to plan and we arrived in the Market Square in time to enjoy the festivities before the switching-on of the Christmas lights.  A magical event for everyone involved, creating Christmassy memories to treasure!

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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.  And 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.

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Shall we do it all again in 2017??  Of course we will!!  Make sure you pre-book your lanterns from 01/10/17.

Join our Facebook Group – Stony Stratford Lantern Project

 Photos (mostly) by Bob McDonald – thanks, Bob.
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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. 

 York House Centre gratefully acknowledges financial assistance from Stony Stratford Town Council, Stony Stratford Business Association, Milton Keynes Community Foundation and the York House LocalGiving.Com Fund for this project.