Gloucester Lantern Procession and Christmas Light Switch-On returns
By David Wood
Ring in the festive cheer as Gloucester's stunning Lantern Procession and Christmas Light Switch-On returns this Sunday (November 21) as part of the Bright Nights programme.
Local artists and schoolchildren are working on a series of magical lanterns based on the theme "Loving Our Planet" (Guardians of Nature), highlighting the importance of sustainability and doing our bit to slow climate change.
As part of this year's procession, you can expect to see foragers, pollinators, gardeners and much more all led by Father Christmas himself.
Starting at 4.45pm, the procession will travel along a new route this year starting at Southgate Street before heading on to Westgate Street and then Berkeley Street. It will then proceed on to Longsmith Street then Ladybellegate Street and Blackfriars with the city's Christmas lights turning on as it passes underneath.
The procession will be accompanied by some wonderful music from the incredible Ola Samba who will be out in full force with some spectacular drums, and Weapons of Sound, an exceptional junk percussion band with instruments made of recycled materials.
The schools involved include:
- St Peter's Catholic Primary School working with artist Dee Moxon
- Grange Primary Academy working with artist Chris Oakey
- Brockworth Primary Academy working with artist Maya Wolf
- Hunts Grove Primary Academy working with artist Stephanie Reeves
- Calton Primary working with artist Alison Cockcroft
- Robinswood Primary Academy working with artist Harriet West
The event is taking place as part of the Bright Nights programme, Gloucester's festival of light, which sees a stunning array of light installations including works by international artists on display around the city until February.
Councillor Steve Morgan, cabinet member for culture and leisure at Gloucester City Council, said: "We're delighted to see the return of the wonderful Lantern Procession and Christmas Lights Switch-On marking the official start to the festive season in the city.
"As part of the Bright Nights programme, brightening our winter months, this year's procession is a wonderful addition to the festival which is bringing colour and light to the city."
Mrs Zoe Walls, teacher and art co-ordinator at St Peters Primary School, said: "Our school has loved being involved with the Lantern Procession this year. The theme has been really educational.
"The children have been inspired working with the artist Dee Moxon to create some wonderful pieces. We are really looking forward to taking part in the procession and switching on the Christmas lights in Gloucester this Sunday."
Gloucester City Council are pleased to present Bright Nights, a series of light installations and events taking place in Gloucester from November 2021 until February 2022, to bring colour, light and joy to the city as the nights get longer over winter.
Bright Nights is produced by Gloucester City Council and has been made possible with funding from Arts Council England, Gloucester BID, Unlimited and FESTIVAL.ORG, with partnership support from Llanthony Secunda Priory, Blackfriars Priory, Strike A Light, Historic England, Gloucester Guildhall, Gloucester Cathedral, Your Next Move and Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust.
The concept for the project was originated by Gloucester Culture Trust who supported the project in its early stages of development in bringing all partners together to ensure its success.
See more at www.visitgloucester.co.uk/brightnights
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