Lantern Parade lights up Leamington

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This year’s Leamington Lantern Parade was once again a spectacular sight and the highlight was a stunning ‘Peacock Carriage’ designed by a local schoolgirl.

Nine-year-old Rathura Kavuru won a competition, organised by the Royal Spa Centre in partnership with BID Leamington, to create the stunning focal point of the parade, now in its fourth year.

And this means that the Royal Priors Shopping Centre in Leamington will once again be home to a giant peacock as the carriage which led the parade will be on display there until Christmas.

The sight of the carriage will bring back memories of the eye-catching peacock clock which once sat in front of a huge painting of Warwick Castle in the shopping centre.

Rathura’s design was brought to life during lantern making workshops hosted at the Royal Spa Centre, Family Tree and Warwickshire College’s Leamington campus in the run-up to the parade.

The peacock carriage was built over three weeks by community artist Fran Godwin, from the Community Arts Workshop, and celebrates the Cinderella pantomime at the Royal Spa Centre.

Stephanie Kerr, from BID Leamington, which organises the lantern parade, said: “Around 500 people braved the elements to join in this year’s Leamington Lantern Parade.

“There was a beautiful string of lanterns of all shapes, sizes and designs surrounding the Royal Pump Room that then led into the town and culminated around the Tree of Light at the town hall with Christmas carols, real reindeer and a stilt-walking Father Christmas.

“It was yet again a fantastic community event and huge thanks to CJ Events, the police, Warwick District Council and all the many volunteers who gave up their time to make it such a great success.”

Jo Lewis, of the Royal Spa Centre, said: “We were overwhelmed at the level of creativity and imagination that went into the entries for our lantern competition this year.

“To see Rathura’s face light up when she was paraded through Leamington in her giant peacock carriage was just magical.

“We are already looking forward to next year’s competition for Jack and the Beanstalk.”