Lantern Procession promises to be the best yet

A SPECTACULAR Light Up The Valley procession will snake through Stacksteads on October 28, the culmination of 48 lantern making workshops.

In 2015 charity Stacksteads Countryside Park Group, SCPG, hosted its first lantern parade after just a handful of workshops.

Since then the project has grown and this year around 4,000 people are expected to benefit.

Communications Officer for SCPG Jackie Oakes said: “The project has grown significantly since that first year, which is why we now have experts from the Horse and Bamboo to manage the project on our behalf.

“Community Artist Ruth Evans will again be our lead artist and workshop organiser along with her son Felix as co-artist and this year we are extending into Haslingden and involving Apna Rossendale.

“Two emerging artists will be mentored by Andrew Kim, who is Artistic Director of the acclaimed Handmade Parade in Hebden Bridge.”

The Arts Council has provided £15,000 of the total £21,000 budget with additional funding from Lancashire County Council neighbourhood wellbeing initiative, Rossendale Community Fund and Living Well Living Better and support in kind.

Evaluating last year’s procession, Ruth said: “After working for years on many parades, I can honestly say this was the most joyful, magical and successful one we have done, not just because of the coming together of so many parts of the community, but also the truly amazing atmosphere on the night.”

Other community groups that will be involved in the workshops include: Rubicon, Seniors Together In Rossendale, Bacup Pride, Weir Pride, children from Holy Trinity, St Joseph’s primary schools, Newchurch Residents’ Association and Stubbylee Community Greenhouses.

Jackie said: “We hope that the Haslingden residents will come along and join the procession in October, but we will have a smaller-scale installation in their area if it is required.

“The making sessions will be held at different times during the day and at locations across Rossendale including Acre Mill and Globe Arts in Stacksteads, The Boilerhouse in Waterfoot and Bacup Cricket Club.

“The Light Up The Valley is going to be an amazing procession uniting and bringing together the diverse communities of Rossendale in a colourful celebration.

“Lantern workshops will be held from July until October, please check out our website for more details or join our Facebook page Stacksteads Countryside Park Group.”