Lantern Parade lights up Leamington

Leamington Lantern Parade 2017. Photo by Jamie Gray.
Leamington Lantern Parade 2017. Photo by Jamie Gray.

Leamington was lit up with a dazzling display of lanterns for the town centre’s annual parade.

Hundreds of people gathered to join and enjoy the light spectacle, organised by BID Leamington, from The Bandstand in the Royal Pump Room Gardens on Sunday (December 3).

Leamington Lantern Parade 2017. Photo by Jamie Gray.

Leamington Lantern Parade 2017. Photo by Jamie Gray.

A Star Wars themed model, a bright pink dragon, colourful fish and a giant robin were among the lanterns to catch the eyes of the crowd, at least 500 of which had been made at free workshops run by BID Leamington during November as well as many homemade versions.

This year’s parade was the biggest yet with over 2,000 people attending the event and with more than 600 lanterns featuring in the parade.

The parade ended with Christmas carols around the Tree of Lights at the Town Hall where there were reindeer, shimmering stilt-walking angels from Vortex Creates and entertainment from the Royal Spa Brass Band and local singer David Harrop.

Stephanie Kerr, executive director of BID Leamington, said: “Each year we are overwhelmed by the spectacular creativity we see at the Parade and this year was no different.

Leamington Lantern Parade 2017. Photo by Jamie Gray.

Leamington Lantern Parade 2017. Photo by Jamie Gray.

“People of all ages were showcasing a huge variety of beautiful and incredible creations and it was wonderful to see the local community come together in this way.

“The workshops we provided were an incredible success in getting the town involved and creating some impressive lanterns for the event and we would like to thank the local businesses that supported these workshops and our volunteers from the University of Warwick and the Rotary Club.

“BID Leamington have a number of other exciting festive events coming up and we look forward to seeing many shoppers in the town centre in the run-up to Christmas.”

The annual parade is a festive favourite in the town which will take place next year on Sunday, 2 December, and this year’s event took place ahead of the start of late night shopping up to 8pm on Thursday, December 7, running until December 21.

Leamington Lantern Parade 2017. Photo by Jamie Gray.

Leamington Lantern Parade 2017. Photo by Jamie Gray.

Free car parking is available for shoppers on those Thursday evenings after 5pm in the Royal Priors Shopping Centre, and at Riverside House, Milverton Hill, on weekends until Christmas Eve.

BID Leamington is also deploying ‘Christmas Parking Angels’ to help shoppers find car parking spaces, offer maps and give advice about events in the town.

Scores of shoppers have already been snapping up the chance to win prizes worth a total of more than £3,000, donated by town centre businesses, in this year’s Golden Ticket festive giveaway also organised by BID Leamington.

Customers making purchases in participating retail outlets up until Wednesday, December 20 will be given a golden ticket to enter a prize draw online.

A grand prize of £450 worth of jewellery from Peter Stephan Jewellers is up for grabs, along with 12 fantastic prize packages valued at over £200 each.

For more details about the Golden Ticket competition, and other information about Christmas in the town centre, visit www.royal-leamington-spa.co.uk