Stunning Lantern Parade gets Altrincham feeling festive
Visitors to Altrincham were treated to a magical afternoon on Saturday as bands, dancers, entertainers, puppeteers and local families took to the streets for a spectacular Lantern Parade around the town centre.
Organised by Altrincham Unlimited, produced by Chester-based artist Russell Kirk and led with gusto by Samba band Tucano, the parade provided a riot of sound and colour as it snaked its way around Altrincham, culminating in an enthusiastic festive singalong in Stamford Square, led by The Music Place choir.
Alongside huge illuminated puppets and street entertainers, the local community also played a big part in the fun, with the Bollin Primary and Stamford Park Junior schools carrying lanterns made earlier in the week, and members of the public joining in with their own lanterns made earlier that day at Open Studios. A troupe from Cardwells Theatre School danced their way around the route, while Aura Music Academy’s brass ensemble provided a traditional touch with carols and Christmas songs.
The Lantern Parade came hot on the heels of the Christmas Lights Switch-On two weeks earlier, which brought visitors in their thousands to a day of town centre entertainment, culminating in a fantastic early evening show hosted by Key 103. Footfall was up 29% on the previous year, and the combination of fantastic Star Wars cos players, musical entertainment from local schools and choirs and the excitement of having Key 103 in town proved a winning formula.
Altrincham Unlimited Communications Manager Linda Roy said:
“Following Altrincham’s well-documented resurgence over the past few years, and in particular the huge increase in visitor numbers in the run-up to Christmas last year, we felt the time was right to separate the Lantern Parade and Christmas Lights Switch-On events, and give each a full day in its own right.
“This enabled us to develop a separate identity for each event and really boost the cultural offer in Altrincham this Christmas.
The town centre was packed on Switch-On day and the atmosphere was amazing, while extending the Lantern Parade route allowed us to include much more of the town.
Working with professional artists and puppeteers took the whole event to another level, making for a truly magical afternoon.
“There plenty more to come; Santa’s Grotto will be popping up again next Saturday, the Alt. Great British Christmas Markets are open every Tuesday, Saturday & Sunday, you can get creative with wreath-making and other festive workshops and with many new shops, cafés and restaurants having opened their doors in the past few months, excellent Christmas shopping and food and drink is a given. Altrincham continues to go from strength to strength and there’s no better time than Christmas to enjoy everything our town has to offer.”
For more information on events in Altrincham this Christmas, see the What’s On guide at www.altrinchamunlimited.co.uk