Aldgate Lantern Parade and Winter Fair are back by popular demand for the third year running. Across October and November, workshops are held in local schools and public places; supporting children and adults to design and build beautiful, colourful paper lanterns. These workshops are free of charge, materials are provided, and recycling post-event recycling is promoted. On the first Friday in December, once school finishes and darkness starts to fall, the lanterns are lit with electric candles, creating a spectacular display of colour, shape and light. Led by drummers, several hundred people parade through the local streets, stopping the traffic and delighting passers-by. The parade lasts for 45minutes, and finishes in Aldgate Square with a fabulous Winter Fair; which includes music, song, dance, food and stalls which reflect the locality's diversity. The project is a joyous celebration of life in the area. Lighting up the winter night, it is a much-loved and anticipated event.
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
Aldgate is, historically, a place where everyone is welcome: The phrase 'melting pot' originated here. In recent years, it has undergone extraordinary change and is now a focus for business, with huge office blocks towering over the old buildings. For the people who live there, it is like ‘living amongst giants’. It can be hard to maintain a sense of community in an area where business is so prominent and where the residential population is made up of so many cultures. Nevertheless, the people who live, work, study, play and worship in Aldgate love their neighbourhood. They work hard to create a strong community and to keep it inclusive and harmonious. There are, however, limited opportunities for people to come together on a large scale. The Lantern Parade and Winter Fair provides such an opportunity. Everyone is welcome, and anyone can take part. It is a wonderful, exciting event which creates a fantastic sense of belonging, and of being part of a very special place.
Steps to get it done:
Aldgate Lantern Parade and Winter Fair has been running for three years and is increasing collaborative. Residents, community groups, organisations and businesses have always been key to the project, and it has been consistently co-produced by multiple partners. This year, twenty five local organisations, groups and businesses, as well as multiple residents, are partnering to develop and deliver the project. It is a true large-scale community project, bringing people together on the event day itself, and in the lead up to it via multiple creative, cultural and joyful opportunities. We are excited to be part of the project again, and we welcome any support available.
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