Lantern parade to light up Gainsborough town centre again

The colourful scene created by last year's inaugural Illuminate lantern parade in Gainsborough town centre.
The colourful scene created by last year's inaugural Illuminate lantern parade in Gainsborough town centre.

The town centre of Gainsborough is to be lit up again by its second Illuminate lantern parade to commemorate the Pilgrims.

An inaugural parade was a huge success last year, and now West Lindsey District Council has been awarded a grant of £15,000 from the Arts Council to stage another.

It will take place on Wednesday, November 21 and will mark the heritage of the Lincolnshire Pilgrims and the Separatists, who famously fled the volatile, intolerant atmosphere in this country and sailed on the ‘Mayflower’ to settle in America in search of religious freedom.

The event will also continue the countdown to the 400th anniversary of that ‘Mayflower’ voyage, which is being celebrated in Lincolnshire, north Nottinghamshire and other parts of the UK in 2020.

Coun Sheila Bibb, chair of the prosperous communities committee at the council, said: “We are delighted to have a second town-centre lantern parade here in Gainsborough, and we look forward to new and exciting developments for our arts-led Illuminate heritage project.

“There will be an opportunity for all to take part, with free lantern-making workshops in the coming weeks.

“The workshops will give members of the public the chance to create their own lanterns and then join the parade through the town.”

The whole event will begin with registration for participants at 5.30 pm at the United Reformed Church on Gladstone Street before a performance involving a new dance project, called The Imagination Museum: Mayflower 400, at 6 pm.

The lantern parade will start at 6.30 pm, gathering in the grounds of All Saints Church on Church Street at 6.30 pm. It will stop at Gainsborough Old Hall before moving to the Market Place and ending up in Marshall’s Yard.

As well as the lanterns, the event will feature a combination of performances, music and artist commissions. It has also been supported by Gainsborough Town Council.

Similar Illuminate parades are being held across the country, including in Retford on Tuesday, November 20, in Boston on Thursday, November 29, and in Plymouth, from where the ‘Mayflower’ embarked on her voyage in 1620. All are part of the national Mayflower 400 Partnership, which is co-ordinating the anniversary.

The celebrations are also being backed by Pilgrim Roots, a partnership of councils, tourism organisations and community groups. Find out more at www, and

FREE workshops are being held in Gainsborough in the build-up to the Illuminate parade, so that members of the public can learn how to make their own lanterns.

The first is at X-Church Expo on Wednesday, October 24 (10 am to 2 pm), and the second is the following morning (9.30 to 12.30) at Trinity Arts Centre on Trinity Street. The third is on Saturday, November 10 (10 am to 4 pm) at the United Reformed Church on Gladstone Street and finally on Saturday, November 17 (10 am to 4 pm) at the Connexions Community Hub on Church Street.

Training sessions for the leaders of uniformed groups planning to take part in ther parade are also planned before the big night.