This Sunday’s Gloucester’s Christmas Lantern Procession will light up the streets of Gloucester city centre. The procession begins at Kimbrose Triangle at 4.30pm, travelling along Southgate Street, Westgate Street and turning onto College Street before arriving at Gloucester Cathedral where a free carol service will take place.
Eight schools in Gloucestershire have taken part in creating lanterns based around this year’s theme of The Snow Queen. Each school has been assigned a professional artist who has been working with them over several sessions producing lanterns, based on everything from trolls and princesses to reindeer and snowflakes, for what promises to be a memorable spectacle.
There will also be a free ‘Make and Take Lantern Workshop’taking place on Saturday in King’s Walk Shopping Centrewhere families can create their very own lanterns to take home for the festive season. The workshop is open to all ages and runs from 11am to 3pm.
From 20 November to 6 January several of the lanterns from the lantern procession will become part of an interactive walking trail. Starting at the Ice Rink at the Docks you can follow a trail of 24 lanterns that tell the story of The Snow Queen, culminating inside the Cathedral. There will be free walking trail maps available to help you find your way, the trail takes you past Blackfriars which will be transformed into a winter wonderland for The Snow Queen Christmas show (6 – 23 December) This is a city-wide project funded and delivered by Gloucester Culture Trust and Strike A Light as part of Great Place.
Lise Noakes, cabinet member for culture and leisure at Gloucester City Council said: “This year’s Christmas Lantern Procession promises to be spectacular. I’m delighted that so many children have been able to participate in the artist-led workshops to make the lanterns of which there will be more than ever this year. The theme is The Snow Queen which families can go on to enjoy at Blackfriars Priory, with story-telling, puppetry, live music and plenty of live action in the magical winter wonderland which Blackfriars will be transformed into. This year, families will also be able to follow The Snow Queen story by picking up a map from Gloucester Tourist Information Centre and go on a walking trail across the city and the Docks, seeing 24 lanterns along the way.”
The schools taking part in Sunday’s Christmas Lantern Procession are Widden Primary School, Longney C of E Primary Academy, Hardwicke Parochial Primary School, Dinglewell Junior School, Shurdington C of E Primary School, Finlay Community School, Longford Park Primary Academy and Coney Hill Community Primary School. Natasha Roumian, events co-ordinator at Marketing Gloucester, said: “We’re really excited to be working with so many artists and schools. Everyone has been working so hard and it’s looking amazing already. The addition of the Lantern Workshop to this year’s event means that anyone has the opportunity to create their very own lantern and take the festive spirit home.”
The Christmas Lantern Procession is held in association with The Snow Queen which will be performed at Blackfriars Priory 6 – 23 December. The Snow Queen is presented by Gloucester Guildhall and produced by Strike A Light. To buy tickets or find out more information on The Snow Queen, visit www.gloucesterguildhall.co.uk.