Festival of Light: 2010 - present

FESTIVAL OF LIGHT, Corn Exchange Newbury and 101 Outdoor Arts

2010 – Present, Newbury Town Centre

Every winter, Corn Exchange Newbury and 101 Outdoor Arts put on an annual Festival of Light – a lantern procession that brings the community together in a magical winter parade celebrating the festive season.

Prior to the event, many families participate by making their own pyramid lanterns or lanterns of their own design at workshops led by 101 artists at the 101, libraries, schools or community groups, and anyone can join in with the candlelit December procession along the high street. There’s always live music, and food and drink available.

You’ll usually see children holding lanterns held up on canes, that they’ve decorated themselves in their own way, each flickering with a warm orange light inside. On the procession and in the market place their are lantern displays made by professional artists. The procession each year is lead by a sculptural lantern which in the last few years has been created by Charlie McAlpine who first became involved through 'Lanterns for the brave,' our sculptural lantern making workshop.

Each year braziers are lit, strings of triangular lanterns are hoisted up, topped with a moon and star lanterns and pyros, making a beautiful centrepiece and finale for the parade followed by music performed on our winter stage.

2012 Lantern Parade

Musicians involved and who have led the parade have included Tongues of Fire, the Beatroots Bateria community samba band, Horns of Plenty brass band, Balkan folk extravaganza, The Destroyers, and Salt. There are usually a few surprises in this wonderful community festive event.

In 2011 ethereal aerial act Heliosphere was the highlight. A beautiful circus performer in white hanging from a giant balloon performed beautiful balances and somersaults above the heads of the crown. At times the balloon brought her low enough to shake hands with the crowd, casting stunning shadows onto Newbury town hall and the buildings around, and she threw white petals into the night sky. See some of her magic in the video below.

2011 Lantern Parade

2010 Lantern Parade

Learn how to make a Lantern

Follow this step by step video to learn how to make your own lantern.

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2014 Lantern Making Workshop

Check out one of our past lantern making workshops.

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