Bedminster Winter Lantern Parade 2014 – the last word(s)

“absolutely outstanding event and we loved every minute of being involved”


“I hadn’t been to it before and enjoyed it enormously.  There was such a lovely community spirit”


“Everyone had a great time and we would be delighted to be part of it again.” 


“Congratulations to you and all involved on such a successful and great event, the lanterns and the crowds were amazing. “


“Not everyone can establish a whole new tradition in a city, but you have.”


Just a selection of the comments sent via email – there were loads more on Twitter and Facebook –  following last weekend’s Parade!


Huge thanks all round

Firstly, let me pay enormous thanks to the small team that was behind the organisation of what has now become one of south Bristol’s most popular annual community events.

There are only just over a dozen people who work voluntarily across the year to both raise the funding and then bring the event to the streets of Bedminster on a Saturday in December. That number is swelled on the actual day by about 40 more volunteers who assist with the lanterns assembly and  Parade formation plus ensure the route is safe for the hundreds of local people of every age taking part in the Parade.

To all of them, thanks for giving up your time.

Secondly, let me pay tribute to the commitment and creative energy from our artists and all the local primary schools and community groups who provided such a magnificent array of stunning lanterns this year. Each year, we seem to turn out such a greater colourful spectacle on Bedminster’s streets, but it’s worth pointing out that what you see is actually the work of several months of creative endeavour.

So thank you to all our Bedminster lantern makers.

Thirdly, a big thanks to our musicians who entertained the thousands of people watching as well as those taking part in the Parade. Once again Bristol Samba set the pace from the front, the Ambling Band jazzed it from the middle and this year the sound of Bhangra from the Dohl Drummers kept it moving until the end.

Finally, we must thank our key sponsors for making this year’s event a reality. Without the support of Bristol City Council, the Greater Bedminster Community Partnership, Bedminster Town Team, Andrews Estate Agents, Kwikmove, Ocean Estate Agents and the Hungry Caterpillar Play Cafe, this year’s event would not have happened.

Other members of our community have also helped financially and we thank them too for their contributions.


A lovely reminder of the Parade

You’ve probably all got your own photographic collections of this year’s Parade, so do feel free to share them, either by posting them up on the Bedminster Winter Lanterns Facebook group, or by emailing them to us at

We also asked local photographer Chris Dean to capture some pictures for us, as we knew we’d all be too busy making sure the event ran smoothly. so please take a look and enjoy some wonderful pictures of the event.


That’s it for 2014

We hope you enjoyed this year’s Parade, the biggest and most popular yet. Remember it may only appear on the streets on a cold Saturday afternoon in December but it takes most of the year to prepare.


Will there be one in 2015?

NO decision yet but keep following us on social media and checking back on this website.  If you want to help make it happen, get in touch!


Malcolm Brammar
Jt Chair BWL

A sneaky peek at some of this year’s lanterns

Only 3 days to go until the 2014 lanterns are displayed for everyone to see, but do you want to have a sneak peek at some of the things you’ll be seeing on the day?

Take a look!   They’re going to be pretty fantastic!




How will it all end? The Lantern Parade, I mean

What’s whooshy and adds even more sparkle to the end of an already glittering Lantern Parade? 

That’s right! At the end of this year’s Lantern Parade, we will be rounding off the celebrations with a firework display in South Street Park.

The fireworks will be starting at 6:15 ish, so make sure you get yourself to Compass Point School on South Street by about 6:00pm to make sure you’ve got a good spot.

 See you in 3 days!

How to have a safe yet awesome time at the Parade

As the 6th December draws closer everybody, no doubt, is stretching and lunging and warming up for what will be an epic party of immense proportions.

And while the most important thing for us to do is enjoy ourselves, we’ve got to make sure we are safe whilst having an awesome time.

You’ll likely have one of two important roles:

Parader – a splendid person who is part of a registered lantern group, who has worked hard to build a corking lantern, and is raring to get going!

Standabouter – a splendid person of excellent taste, who is looking forward to finding a good spot and watching an array of friends, family and fabulous lanterns go by.

So now that you know your role, here are some tips on how to have a safe yet awesome time, imaginatively called…

How to have a safe yet awesome time


Everybody (and this goes for Paraders and Standabouters alike) should wear warm comfortable clothing and sensible footwear.  It is December, it will be dark.

Everybody, no unaccompanied children.  I don’t think that needs any further explanation.

Paraders, while you are waving your beautiful lanterns about, please keep within the Parade itself. You don’t want to get lost or go the wrong way.

Paraders, you will have some lovely stewards, wearing high-viz jackets, with you on the route.  They have been trained on what to do, so please follow their instructions.

Paraders, you will also see Crossing/JunctionStewards, the Safety Officer and the Parade Leader.  Do make sure you follow any instruction they give.

Paraders, please make sure no food or alcohol is consumed during the Parade.

Standabouters, while the Parade looks totally splendid, please don’t join in.  It is actually really dangerous to do so and causes total chaos. 

Standabouters, you might see friends or family on the opposite side of the road.  If the Parade is already passing you, please do not try to nip across to say hello. Please just wait until the back end of the Parade has passed you.

Gownup Standabouters, please make sure you keep any little ones you are responsible for safely with you on the edge of the route, and don’t let them dodge into the Parade.

Sandabouters with pets, whilst there is no rule against bringing your gorgeous dog/cat/iguana along to the event, it will be noisy and crowded and there will be fireworks at the end, so have a think and maybe leave them at home if you are worried.



A bit of your time + the Lantern Parade = awesome time for all!

The countdown has begun!  Only 13 days to go until the start of the Lantern Parade!

And this means one thing: everybody is incredibly busy!

Whether it is building the lanterns, working on the route or sorting out the millions of things that need to be done to make the event happen, Bedminster is one buzzing hive of activity.

Do you want to get involved in the fun? Do you want to be part of the team and help make sure the day is a roaring success?

We are looking for volunteers to help marshal or carry donation buckets as the Parade parties its way around Bedminster.

If you think that this could be up your street, give us a shout at  We’d love to hear from you.

See you in 13 days!

And we have a winner for the Great Lantern Poster Competition!

You know that Bedminster is home to many creative artists, but did you know just how talented the young people of Bedminster are?

Children from Ashton Vale, Compass Point, Holy Cross, Luckwell, Parson Street, Southville and Victoria Park Primary Schools took part in the Great Lantern Poster Competition, using all their creative skills to come up with pictures that really embodied the Parade.

There were so many wonderful entries that it was a really difficult job for the judges to pick a winner from each school, and even more difficult to pick an overall winner.

After a big struggle, the judges finally went for the gorgeous picture created by image by Hafsa K from Victoria Park School.  Well done Hafsa!

Hafsa’s picture is the centrepiece of the 2014 Winter Lantern Poster, which you’ll shortly see around and about Bedminster, but you can have a sneak peak at the poster in all its glory below, as well as the other winners from each school

Well done and thank you to all the amazing children who took part.  You are all shining stars!


Hafsa’s winning design in the poster



And here are the winners from each school – fantastic work all round!


Ashton Vale’s winner

Ashton Vale's winner


Compass Point’s winner

Compass Point's winner


Luckwell’s winner

Luckwell's winner


Holy Cross’s winner

Holy Cross's winner


Parson Street’s winner

Parson Street's winner


Southville’s winner

 Southville's winner


Victoria Park’s winner

Victoria Park's winner



Bhangra comes to Bedminster for the Winter Parade

Our sparkly celebration of lights will have distinctly global flavour this year.  Once again we have got the Brazilian rhythms of Bristol Samba leading the Parade, and Bristol’s version of New Orleans marching from the Ambling Band towards the end.

But hot off the press is the news that the fantastic Dhol Drummers will be joining the party, bringing some Bhangra sounds and energy to the Parade!

If you’re taking part in a group or watching from the roadside you’re not going to be able to stop yourself dancing!



Exciting Route News!

“We are at the start of the Parade.

The street is full of people, young and old, who have worked hard for the last few months on creating the amazing lanterns that will shortly be carried around the streets of Bedminster in a carnival of light and sound.

The hum of excited chattering and the rustle of shuffling feet is punctuated by the sharp beats of the Samba band drums as they warm up for their big winter performance.

The marshals are in place, ready to guide the assembled throng safely along the roads, and the lead car is shining like a beacon and is ready to roll.

One by one the lanterns are lit and hoisted in the air…and off we go along a brand new route!”

Over the past few years the Parade has grown, both in size and in the huge amount of support from across the community in Bedminster.  

This year we are celebrating Bedminster community spirit by taking the Parade even further than before:

  • Starting at the St Francis Road end of North Street, the Parade will take in the whole of North Street and Cannon Street and down into East Street
  • We’ll continue down East Street until we get to Little Paradise/Church Lane, where we will loop back up East Street. 
  • From there we will amble up British Road and finish up, as ever, at South St Park 

So get your dancing shoes on and join us for what promises to be a fabulous shining journey through the streets of Bedminster to the beats of the spectacular Bristol Samba Band and the wonderful brasswork of the Ambling Band.

All you need to do is find yourself the perfect pitch along the route so you can see the splendid creations as they float past!





Two September fundraising events :  a ‘mini fete’ in Wilko’s and the Big Raffle Draw raised almost £500 – thanks to the small group of volunteers, and local traders.   Schools workshops have started, and detailed plans are being drawn up for the biggest Parade yet, to be held on Saturday 6th December.  We’re going to need more volunteers than ever this year for marshalling, bucket collections, and general logistics management on the night:  if YOU can offer time in the run up to December, or on the day/night itself:  please contact

Bedminster Winter Lantern Parade Raffle Results

A huge thank you to the kind local businesses who donated prizes and everybody who supported the Lantern Parade by buying a ticket, we raised over £300 to go towards making the event happen this year.


If you were unable to make it to the Raffle drawing at Mezzaluna Restaurant on the 28th, a list of the lucky prize winners is below.  Congratulations, and enjoy your prizes.


Prize list


  • A selection of baseball caps and beanies from
    Winner: Ticket 339, BEN RICHARDS
  • Combi voucher of 2 theatre tickets and food, from The Tobacco Factory
    Winner: Ticket 196 – J ALFORD
  • 2 hours of handyman work (excluding materials) in the BS3 area, care of Handyman South West
    Winner: Ticket 440 – EILEEN
  • £33.00 Large Family Provider fruit and veg box plus a selection of jams and chutney from The Community Farm
    Winner: Ticket 275 – CLAIRE WEBBER
  • £30 voucher from Thali Café, Southville
    Winner: Ticket 290 LISA COOK
  • £30 voucher from Zazu’s Kitchen
    Winner: Ticket 363 – GET IN TOUCH, WINNER!
  • Dinner for two and a drink from The Spotted Cow
    Winner: Ticket 203 – MARTIN FLOYD
  • £40 voucher for a dog groom from The Grooming Emporium
    Winner: Ticket 307 – SARAH LIDDELL
  • £20 art voucher from Upfest
    Winner: Ticket 620 – MRS SHORLAND
  • Heart FM goodie bag
    Winner:Ticket 332 – CHRISTINE KING
  • Bar tab from The Hare
    Winner:Ticket 224 – HILLITT
  • Tool Bag from Motoring Direct
    Winner: Ticket 303 – MARIA FAUNIN
  • Eyelash tint treatment from The Beauty Room
    Winner: Ticket 301 – MARIA FAUNIN
  • Voucher from LK Beauty
    Winner: Ticket 387 – ADE MURPHY
  • Bottle of Prosecco from Corks of North Street
    Winner: Ticket 427 – NATALIE ENGLAND  

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