The 2018 Parade in full detail

Only 7 days to go until we kick off the 2018 Bedminster Winter Lantern Parade!

Oh my days! We’re nearly there!

The Committee is putting the final touches together for next Saturday, so now would be a good time to give you the information you need so that you can be prepped and ready to go on Saturday 8th December.

First up, you need to know that the fun starts at 4pm, with the Parade leaving from the starting point at 430pm.

But what else do you need to know to be fully Parade-ready?

Where do you need to be?

If you are taking part in the Parade with a school or community group, please meet at the agreed time and place in Brewery Court, just behind Mark’s Bread and the Bristol Beer Factory & Taproom.

If you are registered for the #bemmymix group, get yourself and your lanterns to the Lanterns HQ at the corner North Street and St Francis Road and then go join the group at 330pm and no later than 4pm.

If you aren’t registered to participate in the Parade, you are not covered by our Parade insurance, so you won’t be able to walk in the Parade this year. For your own safety please find yourself a good viewing spot and enjoy the lanterns and music.

What’s the route?

The route is mostly the same this year, with one tiny addition.

The Parade sets off on the street a smidge further down from Aldi on North Street. Starting from Brewery Court, the Parade follows our usual route down North Street and Canon Street.

We turn right just after the London Inn and continue along British Road. As ever, the Parade finishes up at South Street outside Compass Point School for a snack and hot drink, some splendid fireworks and the chance to get a close-up look at the lanterns.

What’s happening when?

Once again, this year the main roads on the route will be closed to traffic from 3pm until 6pm, so you can enjoy the event without traffic getting in the way. You’ll have a bit of time before the start of the Parade to soak up the BS3 atmosphere and check out the bands at a few key locations on the route, but do make sure you find a good viewing spot before the event kicks off.
The Parade starts at 430pm and will wind up about an hour later. The firework display is set for just a little after 6pm.

What will the fashionable 2018 Parade goer be wearing?

The emphasis is on warm and comfortable clothing, with sensible footwear a must. It will be dark and chilly and nobody’s got time for a chill.

How to stay safe on the Parade

Safety is the most important thing – literally the most important thing – to the Committee and we have worked to make the Parade safe for everybody.

As mentioned before, the Parade route will be closed to traffic from 3pm-6pm, and we have recruited volunteers to act as marshals along the way.

Here’s how you can keep you and yours safe too.

Firstly, absolutely no unaccompanied children. Please keep any smallfolk close by you at all times.

If you are a taking part in the Parade, make sure you stay with your group and follow the instructions from the marshals who are walking with you. Please follow any directions from the Parade stewards – they are there to help make sure the Parade goes smoothly and safely.
Finally, please follow any instructions the Route Masters, Safety Officer or Parade Leader give you.

If you are not a registered participant, please don’t join the Parade. It is dangerous to do so and causes total chaos.

Please don’t cut through the Parade – even if you see friends or family on the other side – just wait until the Parade has passed. If you are watching the Parade with children, please keep them with you on the edge of the route, and don’t let them nip into the Parade.

What else is there to do on the day?

Bedminster is full of nice places to shop, grab a bite to eat or have a drink. Make sure you remember you pocket money so you can so make the most of your afternoon. There will also be some stalls at the end of the Parade, including the fantastic Hopper Coffee Van.

We are, once again, collecting donations during the Parade – you will see some super bucket-carrying Parade volunteers walking along the route. Keep an eye out for the buckets and bung your donation in as they go past.

Are pets allowed?

Our pets are part of our family and we love being with them, but they won’t love the event.

There’s no rule against you bringing along your pet, but it will be very noisy and crowded and the fireworks at the end will make it more so. Maybe leave them at home if you are worried.

I’m a social creature! I need to get social!

Get social with us then! Our hashtags this year are #bemmylanterns and #bwlp2018, so feel free to go nuts with the pix and vids and tweet us (@bemmylanterns), share to our Facebook page (bemmylanterns), tag us on Instagram (@bemmylanterns), or even email us at info@bwlp.org.uk.

See you in 7 days!

Love from the #bemmylanterns team

2018 musical treats to delight your ears

What’s the perfect accompaniment to a dazzling visual feast?  Music!  And we’ve got a host of musical treats to delight your ears again this year.  Just take a look at who’s going to be entertaining on Saturday 8th December and get ready to be super-excited!

 The Ambling Band 

“brass and pink collide to create a rich cacophony of sights and sounds”

The Ambling Band is based in Bristol and plays in the south west of England and on the continent. They have been terrorising people on the street for the past 34 years, bringing joy and tears to those who watch and hear them!!

 

 

Bristol Samba

Bristol Samba is a community band of drummers and dancers playing energetic Brazilian-based music for celebrating and dancing. The samba band and dancers perform at festivals, parties and events throughout the year, raising the roof and creating a vibrant atmosphere.  Bristol Samba promotes, supports and develops percussion-based music and related carnival arts, particularly in our local community. The band has been performing for over twenty-five years, since its formation under the name Bristol School of Samba

Ravens Marching Band 

With its roots dating back to 1979 the Ravens Marching Band currently has about 30 members with ages ranging from 6 upwards.  The band’s three sections – percussion, mallets/chimes and  brass  come together to play a variety of tunes such as; Anchors Aweigh, the Entertainer, Star Wars, Swinging Safari and the British Grenadiers. These firm Parade favourites bring real music exuberance to the  event each time they play.  

The Brass Disciples

Having wowed Parade fans at the project launch gig in September, the Brass Disciples are now making their “walking with the Parade” debut.  Having already had a cracking year with gigs at Bristol Pride Day, Bristol Harbour Festival, Bristol Volksfest and Bath Carnival, not to mention lots of local community events such as the the Southbank Arts Trail. Their impressive repertoire continues to grow as they look forward to many more exciting gigs over the coming months.

And that’s just the during the Parade itself!  We’ve got some absolute corkers entertaining you all before it all kicks off.

Bedminster event favourite, the African Sambistas  will be entertaining the crowds waiting on the Parade route from 4pm onwards, with other marvellous music makers, including the Southville Strings and St Paul’s Wassailers.

Make sure you get to the Parade in good time, so you can get your shimmy on!

See you in just under two weeks!

Love from the #bemmylanterns team x

Some serious stuff about Lantern Parade road closures

In the midst of all the excitement – only a couple of weeks left to go until the 2018 Bedminster Winter Lantern Parade hits the streets on Saturday December 8th – we’ve got an important update for you all about the route and road closures.

First up, we’re changing the starting point of the Parade.  For the first time, the lovely people at Mark’s Bakery/Cafe on North Street will actually be able to see some of the parade, because that is where we are setting out from at 4.30pm.  So now you’ve got even more choice for where to stand to soak up the marvelous spectacle that is the Lantern Parade.

via GIPHY

 

The second, but equally important piece of new is that due to safety reasons, the official Parade route, from North Street, Cannon St, British Road and South Street will be closed to traffic from 3pm to 6pm.

2018 BWLP Road Closures

Some bus services will be diverted for the duration of the event, and this may cause some inconvenience to other road users – especially for deliveries – who may have to work around this.

But we really hope that people will be understanding, and thank everyone for their patience, as we have to make sure that all the Parade participants, who are of all ages, are kept safe.

See you in a couple of weeks!

Love from the #bemmylanterns team

2018 Parade set to be the best yet!

We’re getting closer to the big day, and  the Bedminster Winter Lantern Parade that you know and love promises to be the most spectacular yet!

Thanks to the successful community crowdfunding campaign this summer, and the support from local traders and the Bedminster Business Improvement Group, we raised enough funds to give the go ahead for the project.

What’s been going on?

Nine local primary schools and a host of BS3 community groups have been building colourful lanterns, large and small over the last couple of months, which will be unveiled and illuminated when the Parade starts from outside St Francis Church on North Street.

While all this fabulous work has been going in, the committee have been sorting out the other vital logistics on the food, fireworks and entertainment. But more on that later.

What you need to know about is the road closures.

Talk to me about the road closures

Following approval by Bristol City Council, the Parade route will be closed to traffic from 3pm to 6pm.

This means that traffic, including some bus services will be diverted away from North Street, Dean Lane, Cannon St, British Road and South Street for the duration of the event.

“We appreciate that this may cause some inconvenience, particularly for deliveries in the area, and a change to some normal Saturday afternoon arrangements. However, we hope people will understand that for this special one-off annual community event involving all ages, we can’t take the risk of allowing traffic into our Parade route.” – Malcolm Brammar, #bemmylanterns committee Chair

So that’s a bit brilliant!

We’ve also recruited a bunch of volunteers to act as road safety stewards along the length of the Parade, but we are are in need of more.

If you have a few hours spare and feel like being a brilliant person, just get in touch with us  via Facebook or by email.

 

Your local community festival needs volunteers like you

…to be more awesome than Rainbow Poptart Space Cat

Not easily done, you say.  But you, the community, heard us in our funding plight and you answered our call and came from all over the area like Space Cat, dispensing funds and support to our project. Look at him go!

But we need your help again

You majestic wonders of BS3 are needed again, or the 2018 Bedminster Winter Lantern Parade might not go ahead. We need you.  In a high viz jacket. Being awesome.

We need volunteer stewards to help us out on the day of the Parade – Saturday 8th December 2018.  These superheroes work in teams under Sector Chiefs, helping the smooth running and safety of Parade and its participants, sharing information on road closures to members of the public.

Basically making it safe and keeping everybody informed and being generally awesome.   Its super easy and super fun and it ends in fireworks.  What’s not to like?

So! If you have 4 hours free and you fancy doing something fab for the community, do drop us a line at info@bwlp.org.uk or via our page, come help us out and be more awesome than Rainbow Poptart Space Cat.  You know you’ve got it in you! #lifegoals #awesome #rainbows


P.S. for more information on the what being a Volunteer Steward is all about, check out the 2018  Volunteer Steward Role.pdf

The first sparks of life of the 2018 Parade seen in Bedminster

After a weekend of downpours, things brightened up dramatically when the teachers from our participating schools met up at the United Reform Church, Bedminster, for the first Bedminster Winter Lantern Parade 2018 workshop.

The #bemmylanterns team enjoyed helping the teachers pull their ideas from the page into three dimensions, giving the first spark of life to themes that include Rainbow/Weather, Space, Vikings, Whales, Rainforest, Elmer, Hot Air balloons.

Taking a look at the pictures of the teachers in action, I can’t wait to see what they create with the kids over the next few months!

 

2018 Lantern Parade is a mathematical certainty

30+12+123 = 4,310

Right?

Absolutely it does, when the people of BS3 get together!

We did it!   You blooming lovely lot helped us achieve, nay beat, our Fundraising goal, meaning that the 2018 Lantern Parade is on! But how did we manage it?  Lets dive into the numbers….

30 days to hit our target

Well, actually we hit our goal before the 30 days were up, resulting in a collective sigh of relief in #bemmylanterns HQ.

12 marvellous businesses

We are so lucky to have so many local businesses who have a big old philanthropic streak.  Without these guys we wouldn’t have achieved a thing.  So here’s a rundown of the kind people who donated Rewards to the Fundsurfer – visit their websites, visit their shops and spend some money.  These folks are treasures!

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Argus Fish Bar – they don’t have a website so just work up an appetite by strolling on over to 114 West St and enjoy a fish supper.

Bristol Pilates Studio – with lots of classes all through the week, there’s plenty of opportunity to enjoy a small group class or even a private session. Find out more .

Les Fleurs – owned by a local resident, this delightful boutique florist creates offering a fusion of modern French and British floral design styles. I adore their work!

Heart Radio Bristol – turn up the volume and turn up the feel good with some cracking choons.

Margot May – visit the gorgeous and popular independent tearoom based on North street, and enjoy some of their delicious homemade offerings.  Find out more about them on Facebook.

Mezzaluna – have you tried this little gem on West Street?  Why not make a booking and try their warm hospitality and lovely pizzas.

Milk Shed – visit owners Amy and Holly’s welcoming café, where you can find classes and workshops as well as really great coffee, cakes and lunches.

Old Bookshop -enjoy some fine food and drink with friends at this jewel in the crown of North Street.

Paul J Newell – find out some more about this fab local author on his website or go buy his book on amazon.

Rare – if you’re a meat lover and you haven’t tried this butcher’s treats, you’re missing out! Wander on over and check out their wares.

Zero Green – Want to get your groceries without all that horrible packaging. Check out what Zero Green sells, grab your empties and make a trip to Bristol’s first zero waste shop.

That’s 11.

I did say 12, didn’t I?

Well,  we can’t go without tipping our cap to a couple of people in the #bemmylanterns team.  A big thank you to Liz and Tony Hillitt who put together the lantern kits again this year.

123 wonderful donors

That’s how many of you who came together and pledged to support the 2018 Bedminster Winter Lantern Parade.  A ridiculously huge thank you to each and every one of you.  We hope you enjoy the warm fuzzies that doing this lovely thing as well as the Reward you chose.

So that’s the maths! The only other number you need to know is the number 8.

8 for the 8th of December 2018 – the big day!

What’s happening with the 2018 Lantern Parade?

Last Monday, 16th April, we had a big question to face.  And face it we did, at the gorgeously refurbished Mezzaluna on West Street.

The question?

In light of recent funding issues, how the heck are we going to get the 2018 BWLP up and running?

After a lot of number crunching and intense discussion, it was unanimously decided that we would forge ahead with fundraising and try to meet the budget by the end of June.

It won’t be easy, but we’re going for it. There’s a big gap to fill, but we have to go for it.

We can’t do it alone.

If we are going to rise to the challenge, we need the help of you lovely people in the community to join us and help raise the funds to make this year’s Parade a reality.

What can you do to help?

Glad you asked! There are lots of ways you can help us hit our fundraising goals.  Here’s a few of them:

Fundraising

There’s a boatload of cash that needs to be raised.  Have you got a cracking idea that you can put into action? Do you fancy doing a solo mission to raise funds, or can you galvanise a team of pals to do something? Give us a shout via email to let us know, and we’ll promote the heck out of it.

Sponsorship

Are you a local business owner that would like to support the Lantern Parade?  Or do you work for a company that likes to support this sort of thing? Well step right this way!  We’re pulling together some Sponsor information that we’ll share really soon, but if you are already up for it, just pop us an email or get in touch through the Facebook page and let’s chat!

Join our committee

Our committee is a small group of local residents who pull together to do all the good stuff necessary to make the event happen.  The emphasis is on small, here, and we would be delighted to welcome more people to join us to coordinate fundraising activities.  If you have a small window in your busy schedule to meet occasionally and help us get the show on the road, we’d be so happy to hear from you.

We’ve got a long way to go to get where we need to be.  But, by heck, we’re going to make it happen.

With your help.

Press Release – Double blow for the future of Bedminster Winter Lantern Parade

Bristol, UK, 26 March 2018 – On the day news came of a threat to this year’s Bedminster Winter Lantern Parade through Asda’s decision not to vote for the Bedminster Improvement District – a major sponsor of the BWLP project – Lantern Parade organisers learned of another cash blow. The group’s bid to Bristol City Council’s Arts Fund Originators Programme has been unsuccessful.

That news means that for the first time in its seven-year history, there will no funding from the City Council for the largest community-based event in South Bristol.

Malcolm Brammar, Chair of the Lantern Parade organisers, says the news has come as a double whammy.

“Three months of lantern-making workshops culminating in a spectacular Parade enjoyed by thousands are such a feature of our neighbourhood’s life each year in local schools and community centres over the autumn, that we will do all we can to raise the funds needed for 2018.”

“But this is a sizeable hole in our budget and if we can’t replace it with support from the local community and businesses by the end of July, we’ll be unable to confirm that schools workshops can begin in the autumn term. Regrettably that would mean a Lantern Parade this year would be unlikely”.

Over 2000 local people participated in the 2017 Lanterns project, and the Parade was enjoyed on the streets by many more.