Retford Illuminate Celebration Receives Arts Council Funding

Illuminate 2015 C Electric Egg 37
Arts Council England has awarded Bassetlaw District Council a sum of just under £15,000 to make the annual Illuminate event in Retford an even bigger occasion than those held previously in 2016 and 2015. The bid was put together by Bassetlaw with support from West Lindsey District Council.

The grant will fund a series of lantern-making workshops taking place in schools in and around Retford and Worksop with professional artists who specialise in willow art, lanterns and festivals. Additionally a number of workshops will also be publicised from September for community groups and members of the public to learn how to make the lanterns and join in the parade. The lanterns are made from willow and paper and lit with LEDs and they will be designed around a Mayflower Pilgrim theme.

The lantern parade will be an important part of this year's Illuminate, a special commemorative event that recognises our region's important connections to the story of the Mayflower Pilgrims, some of whom came from Bassetlaw before they sailed to America nearly 400 years ago. As part of the national Mayflower 400 partnership, Illuminate events will be happening across the country during the third week of November, coinciding with Thanksgiving in America.  Places as far apart as Plymouth, Dartmouth, Southwark and Southampton will each stage Illuminate events.

Retford's parade will be on Tuesday 21st November, Gainsborough's parade takes place on Wednesday 22nd  November. Boston's parade, managed by Transported, will be on Thursday 24th November. Special Illuminate church services are scheduled to take place on the same evening as the parades, in conjunction with Bassetlaw Christian Heritage.

Cllr Jo White, Deputy Leader at Bassetlaw District Council said she is delighted that Arts Council England has recognised the potential of the events planned in the build up to the 400th anniversary in 2020.  ‘The grant will enable us to commission some very experienced artists to work in schools and in the public workshops to create the lanterns for the parade.  I am sure the children taking part are going to be very inspired and I look forward to seeing the results in November’.

Published: Thursday 27 July 2017
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