Streets full of fire and light

Lamplighter FestivalLamplighter Festival - 2014, picture by Craig Shaw/blu planet photography
Lamplighter FestivalLamplighter Festival - 2014, picture by Craig Shaw/blu planet photography

Todmorden will be treated to a fire and light extravaganza when the Lamplighter Festival takes to the streets again in December.

Last year’s Lamplighter, produced by Handmade Parade, proved a huge hit with the thousands who watched and took part. The event followed on from the success of the Valley of Lights festival which boosted the town after the floods in 2012.

Handmade Parade has announced that this year’s Lamplighter Festival will take place on December 6 with the lantern parade kicking off proceedings at 6pm and a host of fire shows, illuminated installations and street theatre taking place from 7pm to 9pm.

Andrew Kim, artistic director of Handmade Parade, said: “We’re thrilled to be returning to the streets of Todmorden this year with an all-new, bigger-than-ever, night-time extravaganza.

“In addition to the lantern parade, we’ll be showcasing some of the most exciting street theatre and installation artists in our valley. We’re particularly excited by the Christmas craft market featuring some great local artisans and craftspeople with the perfect gift, just in time for Christmas.”

This year’s highlights include fire shows by Flame Oz, music from Mr Wilson’s Secondliners, Handmade Samba and Dhamak, illuminated installations by Spacecadets and giant flaming sculptural flowers by Walk the Plank - expect colossal lilies that belch plumes of fire when you least expect it and holly bushes that ignite at a moment’s notice.

The night will also feature the world premiere of a new interactive street show by Frolicked called “Rat Race” featuring a giant cheese, performances by Todmorden Belly Dance and guest giant lantern puppets from Liverpool’s Lantern Company.

New this year will be a Christmas Crafts Market, showcasing work by local artists and craftspeople and a host of stalls from local food producers who will be keeping everyone fed and watered. Any local artists, craftspeople and food producers who would like to be there should contact Handmade Parade.

It will be a busy day for Todmorden with Kidsfest taking place in the Town Hall, the Christmas Lights being switched on (4-5pm), a street party on Water Street and Night Beams, magical projections, music and performance on the Great Wall of Tod on the canal at the new Fundevogel Art Cafe (7.30pm to late). 

Any adults or teenagers who would like to learn how to create short shadow puppet plays which will be performed in windows or projected onto surprising places around Todmorden on the night, should sign up for the special course with Andrew Kim of Thingumajig Theatre which will be held on November 25, 27, December 2 and 4 from 7-9pm. The course will cost £15/£10.

Open lantern-making workshops will be held in Todmorden from November 22 to December 3.

Anyone who’d like to volunteer to help out at workshops or be a steward on the night or who would like to book a place on the shadow-puppet course should go to www.handmadeparade.org