On Friday 29th November the wintry skies around Newquay will be lit up by a riot of colour from a magical lantern parade; the official ‘switch on’ of the town’s Christmas lights; and a glittering fireworks display over the harbour.
Over 100 glowing creations and their makers will be setting off from Narrowcliff at 7pm for the parade, accompanied by a musical medley from the Indian Queens Town Band and a local Samba Band. They will journey along Cliff Road and East Street where they will be joined by none other than Father Christmas and his real-life reindeer who will be entertaining children at the Hotel Victoria from 3pm to 6.30pm.
Escorted by the town’s Mayor, the lantern parade will light up Bank Street and Fore Street, before reaching to the bottom of Marcus Hill. Here the town’s Christmas lights will officially be switched on at 7.30pm to the sounds of magical carol singing. The evening’s celebrations will then culminate with a festive fireworks display over the harbour at 8.45pm.
The popular parade is organised by the Newquay Business Improvement District (BID) and Newquay Town Council as part of the Festive Festival, and is set to be even bigger and better than last year’s event which attracted over 2000 people. This year the BID has secured £1000 of funding from FEAST, Cornwall’s community based arts programme, towards a digital light project which will help grow the festival year on year.
Sara Black, Owner of the GreyBlackWhite gallery in Fore Street has been instrumental in putting together this new project to get Newquay glowing. She said: “We have been working with pupils from the ICT club at Newquay Junior Academy who are creating an experimental light procession as part of the parade. We’ve had a great response and the children have grasped the project and have some really exciting ideas.”
Visitors to the lantern parade can also take advantage of Newquay’s late night shopping event on Friday. Many retailers will be throwing open their doors until 8.30pm for people looking to pick up the perfect present. The BID has secured free parking spaces in Manor Road car park and limited free parking on Fore Street car park to support this initiative.
Eve Wooldridge says: “We’re very much looking forward to lighting up Newquay with the lantern parade. The event was so popular last year that we’ve introduced a number of new elements that will help get the town full of visitors glowing with festive spirit.
“The format of the parade has changed slightly to support the late night shopping event being put on by retailers in the hope that visitors and residents will come and do a bit of shopping whilst waiting for the parade to pass through Newquay. The fact that people can park for free in many local car parks is an added incentive.”
For more information about Newquay’s Christmas programme, pick up a copy of the Festive Events Guide which lists details of all local events up until New Year’s Eve. Created by the BID for the third year running, 10,000 copies of the guide have been distributed. You can collect a copy from the Tourist Information Centre or download a copy from www.newquaybid.co.uk.