So we have good news and bad news. First the good news!
1200 local people walked in the Parade in January, joined by 4 bands and watched by an estimated 1500 spectators.
That’s a HUGE number of people to fill the streets of Bedminster, and makes it our biggest Parade so far. Hooray!
And now for the bad news…
The future of South Bristol’s most popular community event is under threat due to funding cuts.
Each year, a committed group of volunteers raise the £19,000 budget required to place artists into 10 local schools to work with the children to make the giant lanterns (the schools contribute around half of the cost), as well as: road signage & barriers, transport, publicity, insurance, Health & Safety, our fireworks finale and general admin.
Until now, the City Council has contributed around £1000, and the local neighbourhood partnerships between them £3500 of the money they receive from the Council for local projects. We’ve also had support from the Bedminster Business Improvement District and a small number of private sponsors – which we hope will carry on.
And until now, we’ve plugged the gap has been raised by community fundraising initiatives -including the sale of lantern kits and the bucket collection on the night of the Parade itself.
But this year, funding streams are under threat. School budgets will also be squeezed harder than ever. So we are looking at a bigger shortfall and a bigger challenge than ever for the committee.
If there’s going to be another Lantern Parade, we need to raise about £6000 before the end of July, so that a decision can be taken to engage artists to work in the schools this autumn.
So we’re reaching out to you all – individuals, groups and local businesses – to get involved and help us raise funds to continue this very special local event. Every effort will count: from tea parties to jumble sales, school disco’s to market stalls.
“We’ll consider anything as long as it’s legal!” Malcolm Brammar, Chairman of Bedminster Winter Lanterns
Come brainstorm with us!
Grab that brain of yours and bring your super sweet fundraising ideas along to St Francis Church, the Parade’s traditional starting point, on Monday 20 March starting at 7.30pm. We’ll also be looking for volunteers to sign up and/or help out with any brilliant ideas that we come up with.