February 2017 saw the biggest Tunbridge Wells Lantern Parade in its 10+ year history. This in itself provided some challenges for CREATE as organisers and since then we have been researching and discussing how the Parade can be developed properly and safely.
Importantly, we want to ensure the Lantern Parade retains its core values and objectives –engaging fully with the local community but avoiding it becoming too 'commercial'.
This needs time to plan and implement and after serious consideration, we have decided that the next Lantern Parade should take place on during the 2019 February half-term, when we hope to 'light up the town' in a bigger, better and safer way for everyone.
We need help to organise this next Lantern Parade, so we are calling on all of you who have contributed to making it such a success so far – individuals and groups – as well as those new to the Parade. We are grateful for your support and would like to ensure that it is as community-focused as possible. We want to have more community workshops available to enable us to make new big lanterns with group engagement – but all that takes volunteers and money.
Help needed with, for example:
3) Road closures - applications and stewarding at the Parade
4) Storage and transport (especially on the day of the Parade)
5) Help with workshops in December 2018 and January 2019
6) Fundraising including crowdfunding and corporate
7) Managing the website/social media
We plan to put together a working group early in the New Year and would love individuals and representatives from community organisations to join with CREATE to get the show on the road.
We realise that we might be disappointing some of our loyal supporters and we can assure you that we have not taken this decision lightly. We firmly believe that we need to take this time to regroup and build upon what has already become a fantastic community event.
If you can help in any way, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
The CREATE Steering Group