Bedminster Winter Lanterns Parade back for 10th anniversary this weekend - what’s on and full parade route

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The Bedminster Winter Lanterns Parade is back for its 10th anniversary this weekend

The famous Bedminster Winter Lantern Parade will be hitting the streets of ‘Bemmy’ on Saturday, in a long-awaited return post pandemic.

The 10th anniversary event is set to be bigger than ever, too, with an estimated 1,200 people taking part.

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There will also be four bands in the parade with Bristol Samba leading, the Ambling Band, new community band Bright Sounds and, for the first time ever, the Bristol City Pipes and Drums Band.

Nine primary schools are taking place this year, as well as representatives from Ashton Park School.

Nine primary schools are taking part this year.Nine primary schools are taking part this year.
Nine primary schools are taking part this year.

Due to it happening later in the year when there are more hours of daylight, the parade will be setting off later than normal with road closures taking shape from 4pm.

The event will start along the parade route at 5pm with music, a light show outside the Hen and Chicken on North Street, and other entertainment such as a Bhangra Party at The Steam Crane, and the parade itself will begin at 6pm.

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Setting off on the traditional route from Compass Point School, the parade will move along North Street, Cannon Street, onto British Road and end again at Compass Point School.

Although there are no set timings along the route, steering group chairman Ade Williams, who featured in the New Years Honours list, will be keeping a steady pace so that the front of the parade will be back at the end destination between 6:30 and 6:45pm.

The parade route through Bedminster.The parade route through Bedminster.
The parade route through Bedminster.

The project’s parade director Malcolm Brammar spoke to us to let us in on a few little secrets.

“Because it’s the 10th anniversary, we are trying to celebrate it in a big way. We want people to have plenty of time to take photos and with lots of children in the parade, we won’t be going too fast,” he says. “We’ll have a short, colourful fireworks finale at the end.”

And what can people expect from the display this year?

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“There’s a huge range of different lanterns and, this year, some of them have gone international,” said Mr Brammar.

“Because we’ve had funding from the Twinning Association from Bordeaux and Porto, Victoria Park has done a large Bordeaux birthday cake and Compass Point has done a large chicken and little sardines.

“This generation is very conscious of the climate too, so there are a lot of lanterns linked to this.”

With it being the anniversary event, Mr Brammar tells us there are a few surprises in store, too, although he remained somewhat cryptic on the details. “We’ve attracted the interest of the ‘gentry’ from Ashton Court Mansion, and they will be arriving shortly after 5pm to see what the fuss is all about.”

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