Town centre lantern parade to honour Gainsborough’s pilgrim heritage

The parade in Gainsborough will take place next month.
The parade in Gainsborough will take place next month.

Gainsborough is preparing to host its first Illuminate lantern parade to commemorate its pilgrim roots.

Nearly £15,000 has been awarded by Arts Council England to Bassetlaw District Council, in partnership with West Lindsey District Council, for lantern parades in Gainsborough and Retford to commemorate the heritage of the Pilgrims, some of whom sailed on the Mayflower from Europe to settle in America nearly 400 years ago.

The parade in Gainsborough will take place on Wednesday November 22, at 5pm.

Councillor Sheila Bibb, West Lindsey council prosperous communities committee chairman, said: “We are delighted to have our own lantern parade here in Gainsborough and I hope everyone will come along and join in the celebrations.

“A series of free lantern-making workshops will take place for members of the public to join and create their own lanterns with the chance to come and join the parade through the town centre.”

Workshops have begun in schools in Gainsborough with professional artists who specialise in willow art, lanterns and festivals to make ‘flame’ lanterns.

Free public workshops will also take place at Trinity Arts Centre on Monday October 23, from 10am-4pm; The X-Church on Thursday October 26, from 10am-4pm; and The United Reformed Church on Saturday and Sunday, November 18 and 19, from 10am-4pm each day.

The parade will be an important part of this year’s Illuminate in Gainsborough, a special commemorative event which recognises the region’s important connections to the Pilgrims’ story.

As part of the national Mayflower 400 partnership, Illuminate events will be happening across the country during the third week of November, coinciding with Thanksgiving in America.

Places as far apart as Plymouth, Dartmouth, Southwark and Southampton will each stage Illuminate events.

Retford’s parade will be on Tuesday November 21.

n To find out more about Gainsborough’s Pilgrim heritage and West Lindsey’s partnership in the official Mayflower 400 project, visit