Thousands attend Tameside Winter Carnival lantern spectacle
Sunday 19th November 2017 @ 01:27 by Nigel Skinner
Ashton Community News Tameside

ASHTON lantern parade 2017: The Black Knight leads the procession.

The legendary Black Knight led a stunning line up of more than 350 lanterns at the Tameside Winter Carnival in Ashton on Saturday as thousand flocked to enjoy the spectacle.

More than 3,500 people attended the event which brought the streets alive with local folklore tales, including Ralph de Ashton, the maleficent Black Knight who cast his dark shadow over the borough’s past.

Other spectacular lanterns included the mischievous Boggart, bringing merry mayhem, and the Rose Queen – a much loved feature in traditional Tameside parades.

The spectacle, in Ashton Town Centre, was more colourful and vibrant than ever with approximately 1,000 people, representing all the borough’s towns, taking part.

The procession included  14 community groups as well as schools, brass bands and dance troops. Families, groups of friends and individuals who had attended free lantern making workshops in the run to the big night also joined the parade.

The event culminated with a festive firework finale in Old Cross Street Car Park with Father Christmas, Tameside Civic Mayor Cllr Joyce Bowerman and Executive Leader Cllr Kieran Quinn switching on the Christmas lights.

ASHTON lantern parade 2017: The Rose Queen makes her way through the streets.

The Council successfully applied for £15,000 Arts Council funding to stage the event and worked with Tameside based arts organisation Global Grooves, which grows local artistic talent.

Tameside Council Deputy Executive Leader Clllr John Taylor, who also took part, said: “It was an amazing celebration, bringing together all ages and many of the communities that make up this borough.

“Thanks to everyone who joined us – including the many volunteers who gave up their own time to steward the event, ensuring it ran safely and smoothly for everyone to enjoy.

“The festivities aren’t over yet – the communities in all our towns have planned some great Christmas lights switch on and celebration events with activities and entertainment for all the family.

“Do get involved, support your local towns and businesses and enjoy the fun.”

Meanwhile Stalybridge also held its Christmas lights switch on with free trips on a canal boat among the many highlights of the family friendly festive celebrations held on Saturday.

A day of entertainment on a giant stage with bands and dancers culminated in the lights switch on performed by former Coronation Street actor Scott Wright and of course Father Christmas.

While Denton is also ready for Christmas following its lights switch on ceremony following two days of Christmas markets held on the civic square.

For a full run down of the Christmas lights switch on events as well as other festive activities still to come, see the Christmas What’s On Guide at: https://www.tameside.gov.uk/Christmas2017WhatsOn