Gainsborough Illuminate Lantern Parade this November

Date published: 16 October 2017
Mayflower Lanterns.PNG

Pilgrim Roots Commemoration Receives Arts Council Funding.

Thanks to a grant from Arts Council England, Gainsborough will host its first Illuminate lantern parade on 22 November.

Just under £15,000 was awarded to Bassetlaw District Council in partnership with West Lindsey District Council for lantern parades in Gainsborough and Retford to commemorate the heritage of the Pilgrims, some of whom sailed on the Mayflower to America nearly 400 years ago.

Cllr Sheila Bibb Chairman of the Prosperous Communities Committee at the council said: “We are delighted to have our very own lantern parade here in Gainsborough and I hope everyone will come along and join in the celebrations.

“A series of free lantern-making workshops will take place in the coming weeks for members of the public to join and create their own lanterns with the chance to come and join the parade through the town centre.”

This week, workshops have begun in schools in Gainsborough with professional artists who specialise in willow art, lanterns and festivals to make ‘flame’ lanterns.

Free public workshops will take place at the following locations and times:

  • Trinity Arts Centre in Gainsborough on Monday 23 October from 10am-4pm
  • The X-Church in Gainsborough on Thursday 26 October from 10am-4pm
  • The United Reformed Church in Gainsborough on Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 November from 10am-4pm on both days.

The parade will take place in the town at 5pm on Wednesday 22nd November.

People who have made lanterns at the free workshops can begin to register from 4.30pm that day on Silver Street (near Argos) for a parade start of 5pm to the Market Square and on to the grounds of Gainsborough Old Hall.

There will be an Illuminate Service at 6pm in the United Reformed Church to commemorate Gainsborough’s significant role in the story of the Separatists who became known as Pilgrims, and their trials and tribulations nearly four centuries ago.

The lantern parade will be an important part of this year's Illuminate in Gainsborough, a special commemorative event that recognises our region's important connections to the story of the Pilgrims, some of whom came from here before they sailed to America nearly 400 years ago.

As part of the national Mayflower 400 partnership, Illuminate events will be happening across the country during the third week of November, coinciding with Thanksgiving in America.  Places as far apart as Plymouth, Dartmouth, Southwark and Southampton will each stage Illuminate events.

Retford's parade will be on Tuesday 21 November, and Boston – also connected to the Pilgrims’ story – host their parade on Thursday 24 November. It is through partnership working with Transported in Boston alongside Arts Council England funding that this year’s parade has been made possible.

Find out more about Gainsborough’s Pilgrim heritage and West Lindsey’s partnership in the official Mayflower 400 project at

For the latest news on West Lindsey District Council visit:

Or follow us @WestLindseyDC or find us

For the latest news on West Lindsey District Council visit:

Follow us on Twitter, find us on Facebook, or sign up to our newsletter