2016 (rescheduled) Bedminster Winter Lantern Parade lit up the streets (finally)

Wow, what a day!  Saturday 21st started bright and clear – such a contrast from the Parade’s original date – and early for the #bemmylanterns team.  Yours truly had the easy job of a quick interview with BBC Radio Bristol, whilst the rest of the team were getting preparations under way.  It was so peaceful and still at St Francis Church that morning…

…but not for long!

The giant lanterns were picked up from secret locations across Bedminster to be brought to St Francis Church for final construction by the artists, whilst other members of the crew worked on the other vital jobs including the final muster layout; deployment of the volunteer stewards, marshals and collectors; reviewing and checking off all safety points; and putting the finishing touches to the other entertainments.

By the time I got to St Francis Church in the early afternoon, the whole place was buzzing!  Big tarps on the front lawn were gradually filling with the schools’ and community groups’ beautiful creations, the hall was filling with the musicians, and the team and volunteers in high viz were buzzing around purposefully like dedicated raver bees.

   

St Francis Road – the main site for the parade mustering – gradually began to fill the Parade groups, the usual splendid schools and community groups:

• Southville Centre Monday Club and Nursery • Parson Street Primary • Ashton Vale Primary • Southville Primary • Luckwell Primary • Ashton Gate Primary • Holy Cross Primary • St Mary Redcliffe Primary • Compass Point Primary • Victoria Park Primary  

And for the first time we welcomed Ashton Park School with their fantastic Pokémon lanterns, the 255th Scouts and the fantastic Bemmy Mix group, made up from individual enthusiastic lantern makers.

And last (but not least) the incredible Girl, the Moth & the Light, the animated lanterns produced as part of a South West wide project led by the Bedminster Winter Lanterns group, and funded by the Arts Council

   

By the time everybody had made their way to the starting line, the area was completely filled with kids, adults and lanterns.

 

Meanwhile over at Lanterns HQ (aka the gazebo on the front lawn), the collectors were stretching and lunging to avoid any strained or pulled muscles from carrying all those donations in buckets along the route.

The artists were starting to move the lanterns down to the muster point, and the musicians were gathering in the Church.  I was glaring at the sky and wishing it would hurry up and get a bit darker and/or more cloudy.  A dreadful thing to wish for, given the awful weather we experienced last time, we needed it to be a bit less bright and lovely to get the full impact of the Lanterns.

Fortunately, by the time the start of the Parade rolled around, it was starting to get a bit gloomy, so we were ready to go!

As ever, the start of the Parade was heralded by the sweet, sweet rhythms of Bristol Samba – Bloco Carnavalesco.  A little known fact about the #bemmylanterns team, but when we hear the samba kick in, all the planning, effort and worry melt away. We get a little buzz and the a general feeling of “Yep, THIS is what it’s all about.  TOTALLY worth it!”

  

And then, finally, the event was ready to go.  Malcolm, the Chair of the #bemmylanterns committee, expertly coordinated the Parade set up and we were off!

We were very lucky to have some reporters from the Bristol Post at the Parade, broadcasting live.  So if you didn’t get to see the event in person, here’s a little bit of the Parade, just for you.

And here’s a link to another Bristol Post story and video.

Some of the BEDMINSTER crew were there too, and took some lovely vids, including this one

To see more awesome photos of the event, go check out the 2016 gallery.

So, as you can see, we got there!  The 2016 Bedminster Winter Lantern Parade finally lit up the streets of Bedminster!

We wound up, as ever, on South Street, where the kind people of Compass Point Primary opened their gates so their playground could be a final viewing spot for the Lanterns, a place to get a delicious coffee from Hopper Coffee and, of course, the perfect spot to watch firework finale by Skyburst!  (thanks to the BEDMINSTER crew again for the video).

So there you have it.  Another splendid Lantern Parade done and dusted. We have a whole bunch of thanks to splash about, as well as the vital picking of the winner for the bottle of prosecco raffle prize.

More on those anon, but in the meantime

Thank you everbody who was involved and hope to see you next time?

Love from the #bemmylanterns team. xoxo

 

2016 Bedminster Winter Lantern Parade Photos

Here is a selection of some of the beautiful photos that the #bemmylanterns team took, along with some pictures that some Parade-goers took on the night and posted to the Facebook group or event.

Thanks to: Matthew Symonds, Alan May, Lorraine Fairbanks, Tina Elder, Lisa Madge, Jackie Smith, Andrew Beale and Jeremy Fennell for bringing their ace photography skills.

If you have any photos you’d like to add to the gallery, drop us a line via the Facebook group or email us, and we’ll add them to the gallery.

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Road closure update for 21 January 2017

Over the past couple of years we have been able to secure permission for a completely traffic free route for our Parade on St Francis Rd, North St, Cannon St, British Rd and part of South St. We applied for this pattern of road closure for Saturday 21st January, but the Council’s road diversion plan linked to work for the implementation of Metrobus services through Bedminster has prevented us from closing the entire route.

 

There’s a change for Saturday

While most of our route has received official permission for total road closure. there is a crucial part of the Parade route which has NOT been granted total closure so we may have to walk against the flow of on-coming traffic.

This area is North St from the junction with Luckwell Rd down to the junction with Dean Lane/Cannon St.

This belatedly-enforced arrangement means that we will be putting in place additional safely measures to keep the Parade safe, though or team of volunteer Stewards, and Complete Traffic Control, a company which has responsibility for road signage on the day.

 

What does this mean?

If you are…

  • a participant in the Parade, please take extra care during this part of the Parade, and make sure you follow any instructions you are given by Parade Marshals and Stewards.
  • a lovely person coming along to watch the Parade, please do make sure you are vigilant on that part of the route.  Keep you and yours safe!

 

After December’s weather postponement we’re all looking forward to taking to the streets next Saturday, with what we know will be the biggest, most colourful and most musical community Parade there has been to date.

 

See you Saturday! 

Love from the #bemmylanterns team x

 

 

Get that Bedminster Winter Lantern Parade date in your diary

Some days you get the bad news and you feel pretty rubbish – that was us on 10th December.

Man, that was a bad day.

And then, some days you get good news.

When we were able to tell you all that the 2016 Bedminster Winter Lantern Parade was going to go ahead on its new date – Saturday 21st January 2017 – we felt a bit like our friend Kermit here.  A lot like him, actually!

So now that Christmas has just about finished, and before we all go cake-tin-crazy over New Year, I wanted to remind you all to get the date in your diary, because it would be rubbish if you missed out!

Everything else about the day will stay the same, including timings and entertainments etc, but do make sure you keep up to date with any new info by coming back here, going to the Facebook group, or joining the super duper rescheduled Facebook event.

Have a lovely New Year, everybody, and see you all on the other side!

Love from the #bemmylanterns team

 

2016 Lantern Parade – POSTPONED

We’ve got some bad news, I’m afraid

We have been watching the weather reports closely, and the forecast for Bedminster indicates rain all tomorrow morning and a sustained period of heavy rain expected in the hours leading up to and during the Parade.

 

So we have taken the decision to postpone the Bedminster Winter Lantern Parade 2016.  

This means no Parade on Saturday 10th December.

I’m sure you join us in our disappointment, but this isn’t the end. We still plan for the Lantern Parade to go ahead, but at another date.

Over the next few days, we will be talking to the appropriate organisations and participating groups about an alternative date and road closures early in the New Year so that the many hours of creative work can still be seen on the streets of Bedminster.

We will update everybody as soon as we have any further news.

That’s it for now.  I’m off to sulk.

Love from the #bemmylanterns team

Get the most from tomorrow’s Lantern Parade

Hey kids!  

It’s happening!  Tomorrow!  

 

So here are the final bits and pieces you need to know, to make sure you make the most of tomorrow’s event. 

 

1. Get the right time and place

This is Sam Beckett.  Don’t be like Sam.  Know where you are going to go and when.  

As you have probably seen from various signs out and about, the roads along the Parade route close at 3pm (with an exception – more on that later).  The event starts at 4pm, with the actual Parade moving off from St Francis Church at about 430.  We will follow the route (North Street – Cannon Street – British Road – South Street) to finish up at Compass Point, where we will be enjoying a firework display in South Street Park, care of Skyburst the Firework Company at about 6.

 

2. There’s always an exception to the rule, here’s ours

Hopefully by now you have seen that we have not been able to close the entire route off, so we are likely to be walking against on-coming traffic.  

The affected part of the route is North Street from the junction with Luckwell Road, down to the junction with Dean Lane and Cannon Street.

We have a safety plan in place and we have previously run the event with a lot more areas being open to traffic, so all will be fine and dandy, but we need to remind everybody to be vigilant and safe on those sections.  And please make sure you follow any instructions our Marshals and Stewards might give you.  They are there to help keep everybody safe.

3. Entertainment

^^Wow, I could watch that for hours but you lucky people are going to have some actual top quality entertainment, care of our Lantern Troubadors.  In addition to the fantastic Parade bands, we have a number of splendid musicians on the streets for you enjoyment all kicking off at 4pm.

  • Outside the Natwest on North Street we have The Road Zombies
  • Just by the Hen & Chicken and Zazu’s Kitchen, you can enjoy Chris Webb’s music
  • Get a wriggle on down to the Hungry Caterpillar to check out Hurry Up Harry.
  • Up by Besley Hill you can listen to the catchy melodies and simple guitar sounds of Aubrey Dye.

 

4. It’s cold!

It’s going to be cold and dark, so make sure you wear warm comfortable clothing and sensible footwear. You know the drill….

 

 5. Keep your kids safe

No unaccompanied children.  I don’t think that needs any further explanation.  

And think long and hard about bringing pets. There’s no rule against you bringing along your pet, but it will be noisy and crowded and there will be fireworks at the end, so they might not thank you for it.  Maybe leave them at home if you are worried.

 

6. Safety first!  

 

 

If you are walking in the Parade, make sure you keep within the Parade (you don’t want to get lost or go the wrong way) and please follow the instructions from our lovely stewards who are there to help make sure the Parade goes smoothly and safely. On top of that, make sure you follow any instructions the Route Masters, Safety Officer or Parade Leader give you.

 

While the Parade looks totally awesome, if you are not a registered participant, please don’t join in.  It is actually really dangerous to do so and causes total chaos.

 

When you are watching said awesomeness, 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.  Just wait until the back end of the Parade has passed you. 

 

And, of course, there’s the whole partial road closure thing.  Please be vigilant and take care on the section that might have moving traffic on it.

 

7. Don’t forget your…

You really don’t!  Bedminster is full of so many great places to eat and drink, so make sure that you sample some of the fine wares that the area has to offer.  On top of that, there’ll be a number of food and drink stalls at the end of the route, including the fabulous Hopper Coffee van.  

And  also, the #bemmylanterns gang have a crack team of bucket-carrying Parade volunteers walking along the route with the Parade.  They have a really important job of raising funds that will help cover the costs of the Parade (which is run entirely by volunteers, including yours truly).  Any dosh you bung into the buckets will help ensure the books are balanced and if there is any surplus, a local charity will get it.

  

8. Share you experience of the Parade

This year we want to see what you see.  Please take loads of pics and videos and tweet us (@bemmylanterns), share to our official Facebook group or the official event page, using the hashtag #bemmylanterns or even email us at info@bwlp.org.uk. And don’t forget to check out our brand new Instagram space.

I’ll put a gallery of some of the highlights up here, so bung stuff  our way.

Ok, that’s it. See you tomorrow!

Love from the #bemmylanterns team x

The most important Lanterns article of 2016

Only 5 days to go until the start of the 2016 Bedminster Winter Lantern Parade!  Awesome, right?

Here’s the 11 things you need to know about the day.

 

1. Know your role

 

By now you should know if you are going to be walking the Parade this year.  In a nutshell, if you are part of a registered lantern group, or you have registered your wristband to be in the Bemmy Mix group you’re your own splendid lantern, you are what we affectionately call a Parader.  Get yourself to the muster point by St Francis Road, find your group and get ready to light up Bedminster!

If neither of the above is you, then this year you are a Standabouter.

 

I’m afraid Standabouters are not covered by our Parade insurance, so you won’t be able to walk in the Parade this year.  You’ll be able to bag yourself a good viewing spot and watch friends, family, bands and fabulous lanterns go by.

 

2. Know the route

The route is the same as 2015.  Starting at St Francis Church (just by Aldi on North Street), we’ll be going all the way down North Street and up along Canon Street.  Then we’ll be hanging a right just after the London Inn and walking up British Road. 

 

We’ll be finishing up on South Street outside Compass Point School, where the awesome fireworks will be set off by Skyburst Fireworks Company. BOOM!

 

3. Know your timings

The main roads on the route will be closed from 3pm, so you can enjoy the delights of the streets without traffic.   The route will be closed until 6pm.  

 

There’ll be a bunch of things to do and see from 3pm, including some musical entertainment. But make sure you find a good viewing spot sharpish, so you can see the Parade in all its awesomeness.

 

The Parade  will start at 430 sharp, and will finish a touch over an hour later.  There’ll be a chance for Paraders to grab a bathroom/hot drink break and the fireworks will start just a little after 6pm.

 

4. Get the inside track on those viewing spots

Yes! There are a few super viewing points dotted along the route.  You can have a wander and pick any place you fancy, but If you would like some help finding the best viewing or photography spots, get your hands on one of the Parade Programmes. 

They are on sale at a number of places listed in the previous post, but will also be available to buy on the day from stewards along the route.

 

5. Don’t let the cold bother you

Make sure you wear warm comfortable clothing and sensible footwear.  It is December, it will be dark and cold.

 

6. Keep your kids safe

No unaccompanied children.  I don’t think that needs any further explanation.

 

7. Be a super-safe Parader 

Make sure you keep within the Parade (you don’t want to get lost or go the wrong way) and please follow the instructions from our lovely stewards who are there to help make sure the Parade goes smoothly and safely.

On top of that, make sure you follow any instructions the Route Masters, Safety Officer or Parade Leader give you.

 

8. Be a splendidly safe Standabouter

While the Parade looks totally awesome, if you are not a registered participant, please don’t join in.  It is actually really dangerous to do so and causes total chaos.

 

When you are watching said awesomeness, 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.  Just wait until the back end of the Parade has passed you. 

 

To all grownup 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.

 

9. Bring your pocket money

 

Bedminster is chocka block with lovely places to eat and drink, so make sure that you sample some of the fine wares that the area has to offer.  On top of that, there’ll be a number of food and drink stalls at the end of the route, including the fabulous Hopper Coffee van.  So make sure you bring you pocket money!

 

There’ll also be some bucket-carrying Parade volunteers walking along the route.  So if you would like to donate a penny or two to the Parade, please do feel free to bung any donations in the bucket as they go past.  They have been on an intensive weight lifting programme this year, so can carry lots of pennies about!

 

10. Pets

We all love our pets, but they won’t love the event.  There’s no rule against you bringing along your pet, but it will be noisy and crowded and there will be fireworks at the end, so they might not thank you for it.  Maybe leave them at home if you are worried.

 

11. Photographs please!

Calling all budding photographers, experienced paparazzi and enthusiastic selfie snappers!  We want to see what you see.  Please take loads of pics and tweet us (@bemmylanterns), share to our official Facebook group or the official event page, using the hashtag #bemmylanterns or even email us at info@bwlp.org.uk. I’ll be putting a gallery of 2016 photos up here, so bung your pix our way.

That’s it.  I’m done for now. So now you know all you need to have a fabulous time on Saturday.  Just keep your fingers crossed that the rain stays away!  I’m off to do a non-rain dance.

Love from the #bemmylanterns team x

NEW FOR 2016 – OFFICIAL PARADE PROGRAMME

programme cover

programme cover 

Do you want to get all the information about this year’s parade in one handy place?  Do you want to know the best viewing spots and where to go to take a good photo?

For the first time this year, we have a Parade Programme, containing all the information you need to have a brilliant time at the Parade.

With a beautiful cover designed by Jasmine from Victoria Park Primary, the 2016 Bedminster Winter Lantern Parade Programme has the route, group order and a load of other useful information to help you out on the day.

And you might also win a delicious bottle of prosecco from those kind folks at Corks of North Street.

The programme costs 50p, and is available for sale now in lots of places around BS3.

Pick up your programme today at one of the following schools, shops and cafés:

 

They will also be available to buy on the day from some of our stewards along the route – I’ll let you know where nearer the time.

Not long to go now! 

Via Giphy

 Love from the #bemmylanterns team x

Register your wristband today!

Remember to register
We’re almost there now!

It’s just over a month to go until the start of the 2016 Bedminster Winter Lantern Parade.  The lanterns are coming together beautifully and the committee is sorting out logistics, road closures and some surprises for the big day.  We’re nearly ready to go…are you?  Have you got a wristband? They are important, you know.

Why are you asking about wristbands? Why are they important?

If you are one of the fab folk who bought one of the official 2016 Lantern Kits, you’ll have yourself a pair of wristbands.  These wristbands entitle you to free registration to be part of the Bemmy Mix group and join the Parade on Saturday 10th December.

If you do want to join the Parade, it is mega important that you register your wristbands on our registration page before the event.  I cannot stress this enough.

Why is that then?

For insurance purposes.  Each year the committee insures the Parade, which covers all registered participants. This includes all schools, community groups and anyone else who is actively participating in the Parade itself.  Our insurance won’t cover people who have not registered.

So, in a nutshell,

Wristband holder who has registered in advance of the parade – shiny!  

No wristband at all, or wristband and no registration, no cover – no joining the parade.

 Of course, you don’t have to join the parade if you don’t want to. Everyone coming along to watch are so welcome to create a lantern and bring it along to the event to stand in the crowd.  We love to see your beautiful creations lighting up the crowds.  it definitely adds to the spectacular atmosphere of the event!

Ok, cool. So what do I need to register?

Registration is limited only to people who have wristbands.  Other members of the public cannot apply to join the Parade this year.  So now all you need do is grab the two official Parade wristbands that came in your kit – you need their numbers to register yourself – and fill in the details on the registration page.

How many people do my wristbands cover?

 Numbers in this group for the Parade is strictly limited, so participation is limited to:

  • one adult wearing a wristband, or
  • a child wearing a wristband AND an accompanying adult.  

 This means that you can have a maximum of 4 people in your group (2 adults and 2 children)

And the process? How does that go?

Tis simple!  get yourself on  the registration page.and fill in your details as follows:

  • If you are an adult, crack on and fill in your information along with the wristband number. Done!
  • If you have 2 adults accompanying 1 or 2 children, fill in each adult’s information along with the wristband number and add the child’s name when prompted.
  • If you are an adult accompanying 2 children, make sure that you put your name on both wristband entries, and add each child’s name when prompted.

And that’s it.

Apart from turning up with your lantern and, more importantly your wristbands, on the day.

Here’s an FAQ section to help you get prepped:

Is there an age limit to take part in the Parade?

There is no age limit to participation, but any children being registered MUST be accompanied by an adult.

Where do I go to join the start of the Parade?

Parade participants are to gather at the start of the Parade, which is located by St Francis Church, on the corner of North Street and St Francis Road.    Please arrive at this location at 15:30 and no later than 16:00.

Do I have to bring a printed ticket to the event?

No, but you must wear your Official Wristband at all times.

So there you have it! Register away!  If you have any questions, get in touch with us via email or contact us through our Facebook group.  

Love from the #bemmylanterns team x

 

Remember to register

 

 

 

2016 Lantern Kits Group Parade Registration

Bemmy Mix is a go!

From 0800 on Monday 17th October 2016, registration is open for people who bought the official 2016 Bedminster Winter Lantern Parade Lantern Kits!

You fabulous people will be in what is known as the Bemmy Mix group in the Parade.

So now all you need do is grab the two official Parade wristbands that came in your kit – you need their numbers to register yourself – and fill in the details on the registration page.

Please note, registration is limited only to people who have these wristbands.  Other members of the public cannot apply to join the Parade this year.

 

Make sure you register your wristbands

We need to register all eligible participants, to ensure that everybody is covered under our Parade insurance, so make sure that you register.

If you have not got a wristband, or you do have one but you have not registered before the event, you will not be covered under our Parade Insurance and will not be able to walk with the Parade.

(You will be very welcome to join the crowd to watch the Parade in all its glory, though)

 

Registration requirements

Each wristband needs to be registered separately.

Numbers in this group for the Parade is strictly limited, so participation is limited to:

  • one adult wearing a wristband, or
  • a child wearing a wristband AND an accompanying adult.  

 

FAQs

Is there an age limit to take part in the Parade?

There is no age limit to participation, but any children being registered MUST be accompanied by an adult.

Where do I go to join the start of the Parade?

Parade participants are to gather at the start of the Parade, which is located by St Francis Church, on the corner of North Street and St Francis Road.    Please arrive at this location at 15:30 and no later than 16:00.

Do I have to bring a printed ticket to the event?

No, but you must wear your Official Wristband at all times.

So there you have it! Register away!  If you have any questions, get in touch with us via email or contact us through our Facebook group.  

Love from the #bemmylanterns team x