Bristol

Bedminster Winter Lantern Parade: Thousands march in Bristol

Lantern parade
Image caption Local people have spent months making the colourful lanterns

An event which began with just a handful of participants involved thousands of people on Saturday.

The Bedminster Winter Lantern Parade processed through the streets of south Bristol just after darkness fell.

Local people spent months making the colourful lanterns that were held aloft by marchers.

Organisers say it was the biggest parade to date, with more than 2,000 individuals and nine primary schools taking part.

Image caption Organisers say more than 2,000 individuals and nine primary schools took part

Over the past nine years the parade has drawn in more participants and now sees several roads closed, buses rerouted and spectators come from all over the city to watch the lanterns being carried through the streets.

Dance groups and marching bands mingled with the lanterns, many of which were made by local primary school children.

The parade route took marchers through Ashton, Southville and Bedminster.

Image caption People come from all over Bristol to watch the lanterns being carried through the streets

Malcolm Brammer, chair of the Bedminster Winter Lantern Parade, said: "It's a joyous and a multi-generational event.

"We always invite people come out onto the streets of BS3 and see the talent of the area on display.

"Around 80% of the people on the parade are young people.

"This is known as a very creative area with festivals such as Upfest and the lantern parade is a reflection of that."

Image caption The parade route took marchers through Ashton, Southville and Bedminster

Historically held before Christmas, last year's parade was postponed until the New Year because of bad weather.

Mr Brammer said organisers were then approached by traders and local residents to ask if the event could be held in January permanently to give the community something to look forward to at a traditionally quiet time of year.

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