A MAGICAL evening was enjoyed by hundreds who took part in Stacksteads Lantern Procession.
Newly-formed Rossendale Drum Majorettes led the Light Up The Valley parade with specially illuminated drums and drumsticks. They were followed by a colourful collection of hand-made decorated lanterns that illuminated Riverside Park. Street band Blowjangles provided musical accompaniment mid-parade and in The Glade at the end.
Although born in The Glen, it was the first time the Mayor of Rossendale Councillor Ann Kenyon had been to the procession and she was full of praise for the organisers.
She said: “It is fantastic. It is a credit to everyone who has been involved and put in so many hours. I didn’t know what to expect and this is just unbelievable. This is just the sort of thing I want the money raised in my year as mayor to support. Stacksteads is close to my heart and this procession has done Bacup and Stacksteads proud.”
The event was organised for the fourth year by Stacksteads Countryside Park Group. This year grants were harder to obtain and as a result workshops for lantern creation were scaled back to just four. These were superbly delivered by community artists Ruth and Felix Evans and were very well supported by the community.
On Saturday Oct 27 people packed the car park at Toll Bar Mill, Newchurch Road to collect lanterns they had made this year or carry spare ones that were available.
Ollie Shipley, 11, was delighted to have recreated her dad’s shop in Stacksteads – The Shop at 342. It was complete with curtains at the windows, a flowering cherry tree, wooden floors and even a lampshade.She said: “It took me about a month to make. I came to the workshops and then took everything away and made it at home.”
Imogen Bridge, 12, from Bacup made a colourful world. She said: “I don’t like how green and yellow everything is so I made my world every colour under the sun.”
Jen Cudworth and family had attended the workshops. She said: “We came down two Saturdays to create the lanterns and had a brilliant time. Everyone was lovely and really helpful and the children had a great time. I didn’t expect there to be as many people as there were at the workshops.”
SCPG Chair Susan Hayhurst said: “It has been a fantastic event, even with reduced the funding and there were more people here tonight than last year. The lanterns that the children have made were just really lovely, to their own designs and what they wanted to make. You can tell they have put their little hearts into making them.
“Thank you once again to Ruth and Felix who have done a fantastic job running the workshops and to everyone who has helped with marshalling and putting the lights along the route.
“We are looking forward to next year now.”