Lantern-making workshops planned ahead of Festival of Light

Blackburn’s newest art venue will open their doors next month for a series of seasonal lantern-making workshops in the run up to Christmas to get the people of Blackburn feeling festive.

The artist-led workshops hosted by Kerris Casey St Pierre at The Bureau invites individuals, families and groups to make a lantern at one of four workshops for a minimum donation of £1 with all materials provided.

Participants at the workshops will work alongside professional artists to make lanterns from willow and paper. People can come to one session and make a small one to carry, or come to a number of sessions and work as a team to make a giant lantern.

Each workshop, funded by Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council and organised by the Blackburn Business Improvement District (BID) will be held at The Bureau, Victoria Street on Sunday 8, 15, 22 and 29 November from 10am – 4pm.

All lanterns will be stored safely and be delivered to the start of the procession ready for Blackburn’s annual lantern parade on Thursday, 10th December.

The parade makes the journey from Blackburn College to King William Street at 5pm stopping at Town Hall Square and Church Street for a flame and fire show, featuring the internationally renowned Flame Oz and young dancers from DAPA who have been in training since October, as well as the launch of Blackburn’s outdoor Christmas Market stalls.

Other events on the night include the lighting up of the Victoria Building at 4.30pm, a firework display and Christmas concert at Blackburn Cathedral from 6.45pm.

There will also be a range of illuminated theatrical characters along with a multi-coloured flood lighting effect, which will transform the stunning architecture and historic fascia of the old technical college building also known as the Victoria building.

Blackburn’s lantern parade is part of the ‘Festival of Light’, an event designed to illuminate the town. Manager of the Blackburn BID, Harriet Roberts, said: “The lantern parade is a much-loved event which brings the community together. The end of 2015 marks the completion of the long awaited multi-million pound Cathedral Quarter development and we’re making sure we celebrate in grand style with ‘The Festival of Light’.  We hope this year with the Blackburn BID on board we can make Christmas in Blackburn bigger and better.”

Artist and Event Organiser, Kerris Casey-St Pierre, said: “We have been building this event over a number of years. Not only will we have the lantern parade that anyone can get involved with, but we also have some highly acclaimed illuminated street artists and performances, lit up buildings, a lantern garden at the college, and one in the Cathedral grounds as well as the fireworks and street market.”

Executive member for Regeneration at Blackburn with Darwen Council, Councillor Phil Riley, said: “I hope residents will come down and support these workshops and really get behind these events. The more people that get involved the more of a success these fantastic events will be.”

For more information or to discover more about the ‘Festival of Light’ visit or ring Kerris on 07845 964802.

©2023 Blackburn BID

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