Magical parade will bring light to the streets of Pontefract

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Thousands of lanterns will bring light to Pontefract next weekend as a ‘magical’ festival returns to town.

Pontefract Lantern Festival will return to town with a parade led by a samba band and entertainment in the town’s castle and at Friarwood Valley Gardens.

The event attracted around 3,000 visitors last years and organisers Pontefract Lioness Club are hoping for another stellar turnout.

The group’s president and lantern festival coordinator Karen Heywood said: “It’s an amazing parade through the town centre culminating in a magical feast for the eyes in the Valley Gardens where we have set up more lanterns.

“I had a lump in my throat the first time I saw it.”

The parade will be held on Saturday, October 19 starting at Pontefract Castle where there will be entertainment, including facepainters and fire performers.

The castle will be open from 6pm and visitors can buy lanterns to carry if they have not made one earlier.

The parade will start at 7pm. Karen said she hoped Leeds Samba band and dancers Leao do Norte Escola de Samba, who are set to lead the parade, will bring “a real carnival atmosphere”. The parade will take between 35 to 45 minutes, heading through the town centre and concluding at Friarwood Valley Gardens.

The park will host food vendors, tombola, children’s fairground ride, facepainting and entertainment.

And there’s still time to decorate a lantern at a workshop held at The Circle, Chequerfield on Saturday, October 12, from 10am to 4pm, Tuesday, October 15, or Wednesday, October 16, both between 6pm and 9pm.

If you have already made a lantern please make collect it by October 16 at the latest.

Pontefract Lioness club said lanterns are to be carried and asked participants not to let off any lanterns into the sky on the night.