A GIANT lantern in the colours of the aurora borealis – the famous northern lights – will lead the way through Hyde when Tameside Council’s winter lantern parade takes place on Saturday, November 20.
Hundreds of people from across the borough’s communities will be taking part in the procession while thousands more are expected to line the streets to experience the biggest night the town has hosted in many years.
A key feature of the parade will be a large collection of smaller lanterns made by the public in sessions at Hyde Town Hall as well as by pupils from Alder Community High School. These are symbolic of people’s personal stories, representing who or what has illuminated their lives, and will create a spectacular field of moving light and colour.
Finnish folklore believed the aurora borealis to be the trail of a mythical fire fox dashing through the snow, so it’s quite apt that foxes will figure prominently. Members of the Khush Amdid women’s group have been working to create three fox lanterns and local theatre company No Eyed Theatre are designing some illuminated foxes for the town hall.
Hundreds of primary school children have been working with the council’s culture team to make lanterns to line the route of the parade, and 30 students from Hyde School of Dance are collaborating with experienced mass-movement choreographer Gil Burns to perform a sequence and design their own illuminated costumes and props.
Hyde Market Square will be animated with a range of installations. Global Grooves are making three digital heads to roam the area, Phantasmagoria and volunteers are creating a dragon inspired by the Draco constellation using upcycled furniture and other materials, and children will be decorating the trees in front of the town hall.
Cllr Leanne Feeley, Tameside Council’s executive member with responsibility for culture, said: “I can’t wait for the winter lantern procession. It’s going to be a night like no other with the whole Tameside community coming together for a fantastic fiesta of friendship, colour and light.
“I’m so pleased to see the work that’s gone into the parade from people of all ages and backgrounds. It’s going to be a truly memorable event and I want to issue an invitation for everyone in Hyde and Tameside to come and enjoy it with us.”
The Northern Lights parade take place in Hyde town centre on Saturday, November 20, setting off at 6pm on Corporation Street, turning right onto Oldham Street, left onto Chapel Street, and then down Market Street to finish in front of the town hall ready for the lights switch-on at 7pm.
During the day there will also be a winter market between 9am and 4pm.