Date published: 14 November 2017
Schoolchildren from across Gainsborough will lead the way with their own handmade lanterns as the town hosts its first Illuminate lantern parade
Artists have been visiting schools to teach pupils how to create their own willow and paper structures, which they will bring along to the parade next week.
As previously reported, the Illuminate Parade will commemorate its Pilgrim Roots and the region’s important role in world history. Nearly 400 years ago, the Mayflower sailed to America carrying passengers from Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire – inspired by leading thinkers from Gainsborough.
Cllr Sheila Bibb, Chairman of the Prosperous Communities Committee at the council said: "I'm looking forward to the parade and can't wait to celebrate Gainsborough's rich heritage and to see these lovely handmade lanterns next Wednesday (November 22)
“It has been wonderful to see so many people taking part in the free artist-led workshops at Trinity Arts Centre and the X-church. I would like to say a big thank you to local artists Julie Willoughby, Ruth Piggott, Kirsty Champ and Vincent Canning who have brought their inspiring talents to the design and making of this year’s lanterns.”
Don’t forget there are two more opportunities to take part and create your own lanterns at free workshops this weekend in Gainsborough’s United Reformed Church – from 10am - 4pm on Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 November.
Some of the children who have taken part in the workshops have loved rolling up their sleeves and getting creative.
Fraser MacDonnal, 4, of Gainsborough said: “I like the workshop because I’m really creative at home – and I’m having so much fun making my lantern!”
Connor Burkenshaw,12, of Gainsborough said: “This is really fun! And I’ve made lots of things from willow before outside of school with the Sea Scouts so my lantern will look really cool.”
Lily MacKay, 10, Scotter resident said: “I’ve really enjoyed making the lantern together with my sister! And we are going to take it to the parade – we’re really excited.”
The parade will make its way from Silver Street to Gainsborough Old Hall telling the story with artist-designed lanterns.
It will begin at 5pm led by Talegate Theatre, with participants registering to collect their lanterns at 4.30pm in Silver Street.
A special Pilgrim song has been commissioned for the parade, which will feature live music and singing from Sturton by Stow Primary School choir.
Alongside bespoke Pilgrims’ heritage themed lanterns, there will be performances by young people from the Performing Arts Club St Johns as part of the parade, which will finish in the grounds of Gainsborough Old Hall.
This year’s parade has been made possible by a grant from Arts Council England, which has also funded an Illuminate parade in Retford – to commemorate the shared Pilgrims’ story.
The formation of a regional Pilgrim Roots partnership as part of the national Mayflower 400 project has helped support the development of Illuminate, with particular support from Transported who manage Boston’s Illuminate event.
Lincolnshire County Council, Gainsborough Town Council and Bassetlaw Christian Heritage have also given their valuable support to make this year’s Illuminate events possible.
Following the parade an Illuminate Service will be held in the United Reformed Church in Gainsborough at 6pm.
The URC is also known as the John Robinson Memorial Church – built to commemorate Pastor John Robinson, who became the leader of the Pilgrims in Holland, before some of them made their historic voyage across the Atlantic. Rev.
Dr. Gillian Poucher will lead the service, with Rev. Geoffrey Clarke, Deputy Moderator of the East Midlands Synod of the United Reformed Church, as guest speaker.
Kismet Theatre will tell the story of the Pilgrims, supported by the Songbirds Choir.
Illuminate takes place in the same week as Thanksgiving, a traditional American holiday commemorating the Pilgrims’ first harvest – made possible only with the support of the Native Americans. Places with a link to the Pilgrims’ story in England will be holding similar events next week, inspired by Pilgrim William Bradford’s quote: ‘one small candle may light a thousand’.
Find out more about Gainsborough’s Pilgrim heritage and West Lindsey’s partnership in the official Mayflower 400 project at www.mayflower400uk.org.
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