Listers Lantern Parade


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After months of hard work from community groups across Bradford, Lister Park was lit up last weekend in a spectacular lantern parade.

Images courtesy of Andy Wade

Images courtesy of Andy Wade

Despite the downpour of rain, spirits remained high as hundreds gathered on Saturday 18th October to witness the illuminations, lead by a giant 15 metre light-up snake.

ARTISTS: (l-r) Harry Kingham, Katie Jones and Judy Connor

ARTISTS: (l-r) Harry Kingham, Katie Jones and Judy Connor

Children from across a host of Bradford schools, as well as representatives from local churches and youth groups, had been involved with the creation of the lanterns with old and young uniting to show off the final product.

The brainchild of Stephen Bykar and Judie Connor, the original concept was conceived to bring the community together and with backing from the Near Neighbours initiative and 2:28, the final event proved a massive success.

Dozens of lanterns, including a phoenix model with a wingspan of over six metres, marched through the park on Saturday whilst specially crafted lanterns, containing children’s wishes, were sent down stream in a boating lake alongside floating lily lanterns.

Meanwhile, carnival music, skeleton stilt-walkers and fire jugglers, entertained the crowds who braved the weather.

Katie Jones, one of the Community Artists behind the event was delighted with the day and explained how impressed she was with the final project.

She said:

“This event is about bringing people together from across Bradford’s diverse community to celebrate our shared creativity, the beauty and symbolism of light, and to be enchanted in Lister Park.

“To have all the schools involved was fantastic and really showed how everybody can come together. The only thing that threatened to stop us was the rain and despite a heavy downpour we didn’t let it dampen our spirits. Some people even said it made the experience better.”

Sajid Mahmood, a volunteer who worked alongside the campaign, was also of the opinion that no weather was going to stop the participants from enjoying themselves.

He added:

“It was an excellent event which saw people from really diverse backgrounds and community groups come together. The weather did let us down a little bit but there were still hundreds who turned up which was brilliant.”

The affiliated school groups who contributed to the creation of lanterns were: Shipley C of E Primary, Frizinghall Primary and Heaton St. Barnabus Primary.

Meanwhile, other social groups included: 88th Bradford Guide Group, Manningham Mills lunch club, Positive Bradford, Bradford Woodcraft Folk, Bradford Young Ambassadors Group, Shipley Baptist Church, St. Margaret’s Frizinghall, Frizinghall Community Room, Rae Gala, Bradford Disability Sport and Leisure, Gracespace, Little Lane Church, Mum’s group, and finally Frizinghall Girls Group.

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