Lanterns for Salisbury – 2010

The weather was just right for Salisbury’s annual lantern parade; now into its fifth year, with the forecast sleet and rain disappearing as the evening came in and almost 1,000 lanterneers set off through the streets of Salisbury.

Photographs by Caroline Ripper, Tim Kidner, Colin Wheeler and Dave Cousins

Wending their way down towards the Market Square the blue-bright lanterns shone away, mixing with the town centre Christmas Lights to create quite a spectacle of colour, waiting for the all-clear to enter New Canal and on to the High Street and Cathedral Gate.

Playing the parade along were the toe-tapping, hip-swaying sounds of local salsa band, Casa de Samba, until the arrival outside the Cathedral West Front saw yummy buns awaiting everyone – although some people were more interested in trying to taste the speckles of snowflakes coming down in a gentle flurry – and classic Christmas pop songs playing away.

For the first time this year, with Neil Leacy, chairman of Circular Arts, leading, the lanterneers attempted a Mexican wave of light running first from left-to-right, then right-to-left, and in the end they ran a magnificent wave from left-to-right-to-left-to-right and back again. Wonderful stuff!

Following a heart-felt speech from Canon Mark Bonney, Canon Treasurer of Salisbury Cathedral, we rounded off with a joyful noise of ‘Ding-dong Merrily on High’ and ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas’ as the parade finale came to an end.

As the lanterns disappeared off into the night, many to be seen again decorating gardens around the city, we at Circular Arts were able to reflect on how the parade is just the tip of the iceberg, sitting atop all the months of workshops – the gluing, the bending, the wrapping and the messing, the bringing together of community groups across South Wiltshire, people working together, and finally parading together – that make up the greatest part of a project such as this.

But without all the people involved Lanterns for Salisbury would never be the pride of Salisbury that it is. A big thank you to all, from the youngest to the oldest, who helped to once again make this year’s parade such a success.

Once again so much positive feedback and good wishes came from people taking part and people just watching. A very rewarding part of our work. Unfortunately, even though the Government encourages us to rebuild and strengthen our communities, it is still very difficult to raise funds for community arts projects.

So if you wish to help future projects by making a donation, an offer of sponsorship or through other means then please contact us here.


Circular Arts would especially like to thank the following for their support of the 2010 parade:

Salisbury Area Board
Mrs S Hounsome
Hurst Financial Consultancy
R P Tindall’s Charitable Trust
Salisbury City Council
Sanctuary Housing
City Gate Church
Wallace Curzon Trust
Performing Rights Society

Buns and Mince Pies donated by:
Nicholas and Harris Ltd, Salisbury, and Reeve the Bakers

The project was supported by an active partnership with:
Salisbury International Arts Festival and Salisbury Arts Centre

But most of all our special thanks go to Alex Grant of Toozalii for bringing so much expertise to the whole project.