Well, we’ve ‘been and done it’!

 As hundreds of people will testify, this year’s Bedminster Winter Lantern Parade was a huge success. What other event has all our local schools participating over 3 months, not only in making the finished shapes, but by parading them around crowd-lined Bedminster streets? How often do you see a giant octopus making its way down North Street behind a band dressed in pink? What other project involves people of all ages, local groups, organisations and even some businesses lending a helping hand to make it happen?And what other event can deliver Bedminster’s biggest lantern, the winter glowing Cameron Balloon?

Well it took a lot of hard work from a small team of volunteers and we couldn’t have done it without the assistance of our sponsors – our thanks to them – and our thanks to you if you dropped some money into our collecting boxes to ensure we could pay all our costs this time round!


It all seems to have been worth it. Here are some comments we’ve received over the last few days

“What a fab procession it was! A tribute to our community”  Helen

“No road closure, just sharing the space”  Alice

“So exciting, such beautiful lanterns”  acta


And even one from Bristol’s Mayor

“Brilliant Bedminster …..well done the schools and helpers involved – a real triumph” George


So where do we go from here? Well we’ve surely got to make the Bedminster Winter Lantern Parade part of the annual local calendar but we’re going to need more people to help organise it and crucially more money from sponsors to pay for it. If you fall into either of those categories please get in touch in the usual way:  info@way-out-west.org  

It’ll Be All Light on the Night

Local people of all ages are hard at work in schools, community halls and even at home, making lanterns for this year’s Bedminster Winter Lantern Parade. One of the organisers, community artist Alan May says “the streets are going to be lit up with some amazing illuminated creations of every shape and size.” For anyone who still wants to make a lantern there are workshops on Saturdays 10.30 -12 at the actacentre, Gladstone Street and Saturday November 3 and December 1 at Compass Point Children’s Centre, South Street 10-12.

The Bedminster Winter Lantern Parade which will start at 4.30pm on Saturday December 8th from outside Compass Point School on South Street, will travel along, North Street, Dean Lane, Warden Road, East Street, British Road and back to Compass Point School where there’ll be food and seasonal music.


Weather permitting the event will finish with a performance involving Bedminster’s biggest illuminated lantern, courtesy of Cameron Balloons.

Winter lantern Parade – Gets off to a good start

– and will end, weather permitting, with a spectacular WINTER BALLOON GLOW provided by Cameron Balloons. Workshops have started in 5 local schools to produce the stunning illuminated lanterns that will process Bedminster streets for a truly spectacular event on Saturday 8 December.  There are also public workshops for individuals and community groups at Compass Point School in South Street on Saturdays 6 October and 3 November 10 am – 12, and public workshops at the acta Centre Gladstone Street on Saturdays 13 and 20 October, 3/10/17/20 and 30 November.   Come along if you want to make a lantern or join a group making one.    Look out for the next public meeting for volunteers helping with the event itself – marshalling, serving food, etc.  The Parade itself will be leaving Palmerston Street at 4.30 pm, and will return to Compass Point Playing Field/South Street Park for food and entertainment – plus, weather permitting, the first ever Bedminster Winter Balloon Glow.  If you want to get involved – or just keep up to date, but can’t make any of the sessions above  – contact  info@way-out-west.org


WOW’s collaboration with Compass Point/South Street School and others to raise funds, has ensured that the spectacular lantern procession which took to the streets as part of the acta Get Together programme in December 2011 can be repeated this year as a community event. The Bedminster Winter Lantern Parade, a stunning parade of illuminated lanterns – large and small – made by local schools, community groups, families and individuals, is set for Saturday December 8th. The event, which starts in South Street Park, will end – weather permitting – with Bedminster’s own seasonal balloon glow provided by the locally based Cameron Balloons. Get involved in a community lantern-making workshop led by artists, help with organisation, and/or volunteer for the event: we’re holding an introductory meeting at Compass Point South Street School on Thursday September 20th at 7pm. For further details contactinfo@way-out-west.org.



Local people who took part in, or watched, last year’s ‘Legends of Light’ procession through the streets of Bedminster (organised by acta as part of their ‘Get Together’ programme) will agree that it was spectacular – and that the making of lanterns large and small through the previous autumn in artist-led workshops in schools and community organisations was not only great fun, but also developed creative and social skills for a wide range of local people of all ages.  WOW is working with a group comprising 5 local schools, Compass Poiint Children’sCentre, acta, and Bedminster residents’ groups, to raise funding for the project to be repeated this year.   £1200 has already been awarded by Bristol City Council – £7000 more is needed by the end of June to ensure the project can run through the autumn term culminating in a procession on Saturday 15 December.