Lanterns for Salisbury – 2006

If ever there was a reason for helping in raising the funding for a project then it surely has to be seen in the faces of the people, young and old, including rurally isolated children groups and disability groups in and around Salisbury and the surrounding area, enthralled in creating their own lanterns at workshops run through out November and December for what would in turn become part of a much larger event than first imagined – Lanterns for Salisbury, 2006.

Originally envisaged as a total parade of some 200-250 lanterns, such was the popularity of the workshops organised by Alex Grant of Toozalii that word of mouth lead to almost 40 workshops being held over an eight week period. From all the hard work of Alex and his team, the numerous volunteers and carers, and the creative flair of the many, many young people of all abilities that attended the workshops, that total reached 634 lanterns!

On the night of the parade what a sight to see from the steps of Salisbury Guildhall. Lanterns gathered from Salisbury Arts Centre held aloft in anticipation for the parade’s start.

Although it was chilly with a mist laying all around, the atmosphere was warm and friendly. Bursts of carol singing could be heard here and there along with the occasional stamping of feet and clapping of hands to keep the circulation going until, lead by the largest of lantern stars, the parade began.

Moving at a stately pace winding its way from the Guildhall, briefly taking over the whole of New Canal before turning into the High Street, heading for the Cathedral Close. All the time shoppers and shop staff stopping to enjoy the spectacle of what had become Wiltshire’s largest lantern parade for 2006.

Once inside the Cathedral Close the magic really happened.

We’ve learnt lessons, not least that local funding is needed to be promised now for us to make Lanterns for Salisbury 2007 even bigger and better with more workshops, lantern designs and music.

If you wish to help by making a donation, an offer of sponsorship or through other help then please contact us here.

Our thanks to the following for their sponsorship and funding –
The Local Network Fund
Awards for All
South Wilts MENCAP

Also to the following who helped ‘in kind’ in many ways –
Salisbury Arts Centre
Salisbury Cathedral
Salisbury International Arts Festival

But finally, our particular thanks must go to Toozalii who took the project saving decision to absorb some of the additional costs themselves. If they hadn’t, then one of the largest Christmas spectacles for Salisbury may well have not gone ahead at all.