TRURO Cornwall TR3 6LQ
Each year, around 30,000 people gather in Truro for one of the greatest events in the Cornish calendar at Christmas, seeing a parade of creativity from members of the local community. Unfortunately, the event planned for 2017 could not go ahead due to bad weather. As the event involves a parade of paper lanterns, the thunderstorms that were hitting the area throughout November understandably led to the event being postponed. Fortunately, the people of Truro just cannot go without their annual City of Lights parade, so the event has been rescheduled to take place on the 31st of January, to put a bit of light back into your winter!
The star of the show is the lantern procession, featuring around 600 lanterns designed and created by local artists, community groups and school children. Simple materials, primarily withy and paper, are used by the artists to make up enormous glowing figures that are carried throughout the city. Children and volunteers carry smaller handmade lanterns to welcome in the lights. As the parade travels down each street, lights and decorations are lit up harmoniously, lighting up the city as it goes. This year’s theme is ‘glow’, so we’re expecting the City of Lights to be brighter than ever.
While the lanterns take centre stage, there is more to the night than that. Also welcoming in the lights are around 100 street performers, further illuminating the city with the vibrancy of their music and dance. With performances from the Truro Irish Dancers, School of Samba and Kernow Pipes & Drums, among others, you’re sure to be entertained.
The City of Lights is free to view, however, the whole event costs £50,000 to put on every year, so raffle draws and other fundraising options will be in operation throughout the night to ensure the event can run just as fantastically year after year. As the event was postponed, there were additional costs incurred, meaning that even more money is needed to be raised to enable the event to go ahead. As such, a fundraising evening has been organised for the 17th January at 7pm, starting on Lemon Quay. Also on offer is a VIP package at £25 per person, which provides you with a prime view of the parade and a complimentary glass of champagne and nibbles to accompany you. These tickets are limited so booking is essential.
From 3pm, there will be a variety of street traders selling food and drink on Lemon Quay, Boscawen Street and King Street, so if you are feeling peckish while waiting for the parade, there are plenty of tasty options. If you are planning on eating dinner out in the area on the night, remember to book a table in advance, as things will be getting busy.
The procession kicks-off at Truro High School for Girls, where all of the school and community groups will begin their journey. At Lemon Street, the giant lanterns will join the fun, and the parade will start to make its way through the city centre. The large lanterns will travel down Boscawen Street twice, after a loop around via Little Castle Street, before parading up Princes Street and ending at Lemon Quay. The lights switch on will be taking place in Boscawen Street, where you should also head if you want one of the best views of the procession. Although a word of warning; it can get very busy there!
If you’re looking for family friendly holidays in Falmouth or Truro, The City of Lights is an amazing event that will warm away the winter blues with its exciting glow. The City of Lights takes place on Wednesday 31st January 2018, between 18:30-20:00.