Light parade tops off town’s big festive day

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Todmorden will be treated to a fire and light extravaganza when the Lamplighter Festival returns to its streets on Saturday, November 28.

The festival, produced by Hebden Bridge based Handmade Parade, will begin with a lantern parade including giant illuminated puppets and community art at 6pm, to be followed by a host of fire shows, illuminated installations and street theatre taking place from 7pm to 9pm.

Hundreds of people have been busy making lanterns at open workshops and thousands more are expected to line the route to watch the parade, which sets off from Union Street South and finishes at Pollination Street. The festival features a host of local talent including fire-performers Flame Oz and Beatnik Collective and street bands Drum Machine, Skiband, Handmade Samba and Mr Wilson’s Second Liners.

There will be walkabout performances by Frolicked, Spannerman, Callaloo Carnival Arts, Les Panards Dansants and the Oaken Hoof Cloggers and illuminated installations commissioned for the event by Walk the Plank, Space Cadets, Nick Mitchell, Handmade Parade, Enya Koster, Steve Summers and Bee Jasko.

Andrew Kim, artistic director of Handmade Parade, said: “It’s going to be a day packed with Todmorden at its finest: locally produced arts and activities, crafts, music, street performances and of course giant lantern puppets. It’s going to be magic!”

Organisers are urging people to travel to the event on foot or by public transport if at all possible as there is reduced parking due to all day car park closures on Lever Street and Union Street South.

There will be a full road closure on Union Street South between 4pm and 9.30pm and roads will be closed in central Todmorden between 6pm and 7pm, so please use alternative routes if travelling at this time.

And for those wishing to avoid the crowds in the town centre, the best vantage point to watch the parade from will be on Rise Line.

It will be a busy day for Todmorden with Kidsfest taking place in Todmorden Town Hall from noon to 3pm, the town’s Christmas Lights being switched on between 4pm and 4.30pm, the Made in Tod Christmas market which runs from 10am to 8pm at the Masonic Hall in nearby White Hart Fold and a late-night Todmorden Market which runs through the day to 8pm (and Father Christmas will be there between around 6.30pm and 7pm).

There will also be street food available on Water Street from 4.30pm onwards, with craft activities for children and adults indoors at Cheeky Sew and Sew and live music from 7.30pm, outdoors until 9pm, then inside at the Three Wise Monkeys.

The previous two Lamplighter festivals proved a huge hit with thousands who watched and took part. The event followed from the success of the Valley of Lights festival which boosted the Calder Valley after the 2012 floods.

This year’s Lamplighter Festival has been made possible with funding from Todmorden Town Council, Calderdale Council, Arts Council England and Todmorden Pride. For more details on Lamplighter go to www.handmadeparade.co.uk

l Other events this weekend include:

Saturday, November 28 - Christmas Fayre at St Mary’s Church Todmorden, 11am to 3pm, stalls, games, refreshments and a visit from Father Christmas.

Sunday, November 29 - St Joseph’s Christmas Fair (adults 50p, children free), from 11am in St Joseph’s School Hall, Todmorden, food, homemade cakes, drinks, children’s toy and book stalls, craft activities, tombola, face-painting andFather Christmas in his Grotto.