Halloween lanterns on parade

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The Lantern Carnival in 2008 ©Mark Sabeano

The annual Halloween Lantern Carnival will return to Sefton Park this month, where hundreds of people will take part in the parade carrying their own hand-made lanterns.

The Liverpool Lantern Company, which is behind the carnival, was set up ten years ago and has worked on a number of artistic projects, including large outdoor events and small theatrical shows.

This year they have partnered with French company Delirium Lumens, who will bring their giant floating dreamer which will project its dreams to the crowd as it sleeps.

A varied collection of lanterns will also light up the park and entertain crowds including a dancing dog, talking stags and fortune tellers as well as the usual creepy characters.

The carnival had to be cancelled in 2009 due to a lack of funding but this year they have received £25,000 in grants from the council as part of a £3.7m budget through the Arts and Cultural Investment programme.

Wendy Simon, Liverpool cabinet member for Culture and Tourism, told JMU Journalism: “It is important to fund the Halloween Lantern Festival as it is a way of engaging a number of communities right across the city in cultural activity both in making the lanterns through the workshop activities as well as taking part in the parade itself.

“The communities come together as a city animating our park, creating a beautiful and safe environment for families to celebrate with the participants, the works they have created. This also provides diversionary activity for young people at a time in the year associated with mischief.”

Throughout October, lantern workshops will take place all over the city including the Black-E theatre and Sefton Park Community centre.

People make Lanterns for the Halloween parade ©The Lantern Company

Jo Pocock, Artistic Director of the Lantern Company, said: “We are very excited about the changes in direction for this year’s event, which looks set to be an incredible evening.

“As well as the huge community involvement in the parade and top quality work from local partners, we are collaborating with the exceptional Delirium Lumens from France, whose surrealist hand-drawn projections and live animations have to be seen to be believed.”

The carnival will take place on Sunday 28th October. More information and a list of dates, prices and venues for workshops can be found here.

About Rachael Bentham, JMU Journalism