A fantastic lantern parade will weave its way through Bradford’s award winning Lister Park on Saturday 11 October.

Over 100 lanterns will take part in the parade which sets off from the bandstand and will be accompanied by music from local bands Northern Lights and Jamba Samba.

Dotted around the park will also be several art installations which are set to light up the skies and tell stories from the park and wider district.

The parade will be joined by Glinda the Good Witch of the South from The Wizard of Oz and 75 local women and girls dressed as Dorothy, complete with ruby slippers, from the same film.

The ‘75 Dorothys’ are part of the ‘Echoes of OZ’ project jointly funded by Arts Council England and Bradford Council which is inspired by the 75th anniversary of the iconic film ‘The Wizard of Oz’ and celebrates diversity within the district.

In the run up to the parade there will be a whole day of activities, with lantern making, street theatre, music and dance, culminating in the lantern parade in the evening.

Over the past year, local children and residents have been getting together at workshops to make the lanterns and the sculptures to be paraded through the park or used to decorate the route.

Artworks Creative Communities worked with three groups from Holme Wood creating the sculptures to decorate the route and Cecil Green Arts group worked with communities from Bradford West to create small and large lanterns for the parade.

There will be six large lanterns in the parade as well as two lanterns floating on the lake which take the form of a giant water lily and a water monster.

The parade is part of the Reflections ‘Arts in Communities’ project which is managed by Bradford Council’s Culture and Tourism Services and the Regeneration and Culture department. It’s one of five national ‘Arts in Communities’ projects funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government and Arts Council England.

People can get involved in lantern making on Saturday October 11 between 12pm and 6pm and a variety of activities including circus skills workshops, street theatre and performances by Dance United and Yorkshire Life Aquatics will take place between 4pm and 6.30pm. The parade starts at 6.45pm from the bandstand, which will be transformed into a huge lantern.

Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe executive member for Employment, Skills and Culture at Bradford Council said: “I’m really pleased that the Arts Council and Government have prioritised Bradford for this investment in arts and culture. It creates the opportunity to bring together the work created by our communities and arts organisations in the fabulous setting of Lister Park.”

The route of the parade is about a mile and takes in Cartwright Hall and the Mughal Water Gardens before going around the lake and returning to the bandstand.

A community lantern making workshop for the parade will also take place on Thursday 25 September 7pm-9pm at Drummonds Mill on Lumb Lane. To book your place contact Harry Kingham on 07518 402079.

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