Important 2017 Parade Information

The countdown has begun! There are only 4 days left until the start of the 2017 Bedminster Winter Lantern Parade.

The event starts at 4pm, with the Parade leaving from the starting point at St Francis Church at 430pm.

Now that you know where and when the fun starts, you’re ready for the other information that’ll help you get the best out of your day.

Make sure you know what you need to do and when

If you are taking part in the Parade with a school or community group, please meet at the agreed time and place by St Francis Church, on the corner of North Street and St Francis Road. Your group leader will give you your wristbands.

If you are registered for the #bemmymix group, bring your wristbands and 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.

The route

We’re going with the same route as last year.

The Parade sets off from St Francis Church (just by Aldi on North Street), and the route takes in North Street and Canon Street. We turn right just after the London Inn and continue along British Road. The Parade winds up at South Street outside Compass Point School, where we can enjoy some fireworks and a closer look at this year’s creations.

This year’s timings

The boards are up! The main roads on the route will be closed from 3pm until 6pm, so you can enjoy the event without traffic getting in the way.


We’ve got some entertainment lined up for you lovely people before the Parade starts – more on that nearer the time – but make sure you find a good viewing spot before the event kicks off.

Classic Film Time GIF by Warner Archive - Find & Share on GIPHY

The Parade will set off at 430pm and will finish approximately 1 hour later, and the fireworks are scheduled for just a little after 6pm.

What to wear

Make sure you wear warm comfortable clothing and sensible footwear.

It is December, it will be dark and cold.  You don’t want to get a chill.

Child safety

Absolutely no unaccompanied children.

I don’t think that needs any further explanation.

Be safe at the Parade

If you are a participant in the Parade, make sure you stay with your group (you don’t want to get lost or go the wrong way). Please follow the instructions from our stewards who 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 actually really dangerous to do so and causes total chaos.

Please do not try and cut through the Parade – even if you see friends or family on the other side – just wait until the back end of the Parade has passed.

If you have children under your care, please make sure they stay with you on the edge of the route, and don’t let them dodge into the Parade.

Bring your pocket money

Bedminster is full of nice places to grab a bite to eat and a drink, so make sure that you make the most of your afternoon and try some of the lovely things on offer, including Hopper Coffee Van and some other stalls at the end of the route.

We are also collecting donations during the Parade – you will see some super bucket-carrying Parade volunteers walking along the route.

This year we have chosen who we want to help raise funds for: Help Bristol’s Homeless is a non-profit, social enterprise with a mission to change the face of homelessness in Bristol.

So keep an eye out for the buckets and bung your donation in as they go past. They have been on an intensive weight lifting programme this year, so can carry a lot!

Think about your 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.

Get social

We need your mad social skillz! And we need to see what you see on the day. Please take loads of pics and videos and, using the hashtag #bwlp2017, tweet us (@bemmylanterns), share to our Facebook page, tag us on our Instagram or even email us at info@bwlp.org.uk.

That, my friends, is it for now. See you on the day!
Love from the #bemmylanterns team x

Where do your Lantern Parade donations go?

Fundraising is a vital part of the whole Bedminster Winter Lantern process.    The committee starts work at the beginning of the year, securing funding, putting together those Lantern Kits and working with the community to do a whole host of fundraising efforts.

Not to mention the amazing fundraising done by the bucket collectors  on the day of the Parade!

Some of our wonderful bucket collectors

Without this vital fundraising, we simply couldn’t make the Bedminster Winter Lantern Parade happen each year.

But we are a not-for-profit bunch!  If we happen to generate any surplus, we don’t keep it! We share the love with a charity local to BS3.

Usually we wait to see how much we manage to raise and then check if there is extra after we’ve balanced the books.

This year we’re changing things up, because we think that the work that these folk are doing is so important that we should promote the heck out of it in advance!

Say hello to Help Bristol’s Homeless

Help Bristol’s Homeless is a non-profit, social enterprise with a mission to change the face of homelessness in Bristol.

Help Bristol’s Homeless

Jasper Thompson,  the founder of Help Bristol’s Homeless and owner of Jasper’s Jamaican Diner on North Street, explains a bit about what they do:

 

“We work with the support of our directors, staff and volunteers to build accommodation, to be used by residents while they access the help they need to secure a permanent home. By providing users with the security and dignity that everyone deserves, we empower them to take an active role in improving their own situation. Our mission is to get homeless people off the street first, and then give them a helping hand in the right direction.”

Pretty powerful stuff, non?  Totally worth getting as much cash together as we possibly can!

Help Us help Bristol’s Homeless

If you are coming along to the Lantern Parade on the 9th December please do bring some pennies to help this fantastic project.

Or even better…if you have a bit of time and fancy getting involved, why not lend a hand by volunteering to be a bucket collector? Simply email Alex, our volunteer coordinator who will give you all the details of where, what and how.

See you all soon!

Love from the #bemmylanterns team x

 

 

 

 

Team #bemmylanterns needs help – can we count on you?

70 is a big number, but we need that many volunteers.

Just over a month until the 2017 Bedminster Winter Lantern Parade gets underway.  Or might get under way.

Don’t panic, but in order to make it possible for the Lantern Parade to go ahead, we need a minimum of 70 volunteers to help us with stewarding on Saturday 9th December.

That’s quite a big number, but BS3 is full of awesome helpful volunteer-types, right?

 

Are you one of those awesome helpful volunteer-types?

Are you free to volunteer to be a steward or a bucket collector on Saturday 9th December?  Check your diary! Are you free?  Do you want to know more about the volunteering possibilities?  Read on!

Splendid stewarding

The volunteer stewards will work in teams under Sector Chiefs and will help the smooth running and safety of parade and its participants, being a conduit for information on road closures to members of the public.

All we need is 4 hours of your time, during which you’ll meet with your Sector Chief and team before the start of the Parade, for a briefing to agree positions and pick up your high-viz jacket.

You’ll then walk to your location with your team before the start of the Parade.  You’ll stand at your location for the duration of the Event, as advised by your Sector Chief, explaining road closures to members of the public.

If you fancy being a steward, email Alex (our volunteer coordinator) or ping us a message via our Facebook page.

Brilliant bucketing

The bucket collectors are a vital part of the team, as they help raise the vital funds to ensure that we break even for the day (and if we get any surplus, we donate it to a local charity). Bucket collectors will walk through the crowds along with the Parade, carrying buckets for the crowds to lob their pennies into.

Again, you’d meet with the team coordinator before the event, to have a briefing, pick up your high viz and bucket, and then off you go!

We got some great feedback last year about how people wanted to give, but there just weren’t enough buckets going through the crowd.  Can you help us get to all those people?

If you think you can wield a bucket like a pro, drop Alex an email or say hello on our Facebook page.

Of course, we are looking for help in many other ways too.  If you have a secret superpower or special skill that can help us make the 2017 Bedminster Winter Lantern Parade even more special, and you would like to lend a hand, do get in touch.

Love from the #bemmylanterns team x

 

 

 

 

The 2017 Bemmylanterns Pub Quiz

Where’s the place to be on to on Monday 23 October?  The Hen & Chicken for the Bemmylanterns Fundraiser Pub Quiz, that’s where!

Join Harry the Quiz Master for 10 rounds of quiz goodness, the chance to win some smashing prizes, and some philanthropic feel good times.

Entry is £20 per team of up to 5 people, and all proceeds will go to helping make this year’s Lantern Parade a reality.

Registering your team is super easy – just drop an email to Harry, the QuizMaster at thphipps@blueyonder.co.uk before 16th October!

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.

{gallery}LP2016/2016gallery{/gallery}