Lantern-making: what’s involved?

Interested in making lanterns this half-term then joining our lantern parades in Retford or Gainsborough this coming November? Find out more here about what’s involved with our frequently asked questions…

1. What age groups are the workshops aimed at?

The workshops are open to all ages – and are an ideal activity for the half-term holidays. Children must be accompanied by an appropriate adult

2. Do I need to bring overalls or wear old clothing?

The lanterns are made from willow and wet strength tissue paper – which is glued over the willow frame. It can get messy – it’s best to wear old clothing and/or bring an apron. We’re using washable PVA.

3. Do I make my lantern and take it away?

Yes, you can take your lantern home – and then come to the parade in November (21st in Retford and 22nd in Gainsborough), to join other local residents and school children as we walk through the town.

4. Can groups come along and make one lantern between them?

Yes, the workshops are flexible and aim to suit the people who attend.

5. How long should people allow to make their own lantern?

This might depend on how ambitious you want to be! The willow frame needs to be constructed first, followed by gluing the paper covering. The workshop’s lead artist can advise how long this will take – and will be there to help with the process.

6. Are refreshments available, or should people bring their own?

No, although our workshops are happening in venues where refreshments may be available to purchase or are near to food outlets in town centres. At the Aurora Centre in Worksop (workshop on Tuesday 24 October), there’s a cafe with a range of drinks and food available.

7. Will battery operated lights be provided to illuminate the lanterns, or do I need to purchase my own from elsewhere?

All lights are provided for free with the lantern-making materials – you do not need to provide your own. We would encourage you to return for the parade in November.

8. What are the benefits to the participants of engaging in the workshops and the lantern parade?

The lantern parade is part of Illuminate – an event to commemorate the heritage of Pilgrims, some of whom sailed on the Mayflower nearly 400 years ago. By joining in the workshops, you’re taking part in a growing number of events building up to commemorations in 2020 on the 400th anniversary as part of a national campaign called Mayflower 400. We want to let more people know about these events, find out about our region’s heritage – of the Pilgrims’ Roots – and have opportunities to take part in new, inspiring and exciting cultural activities.

9. Where it says ‘Register’ for the parade, what does that mean?

Bring your lantern and let us know that you’ve arrived – register in Carolgate for the Retford parade and on Silver Street for the Gainsborough parade – and we’ll give you a position in the parade line-up alongside other participants. We’d like to know how many people are taking part, so that’s why there’s a register.

10. What happens when the parade reaches the Market Square in Retford, or Gainsborough Old Hall for the Gainsborough parade?

There will be some entertainment before the parade ends at 5.45pm.

11. Do I need to wait around once we reach our parade destination?

There will be some music and storytelling at the parade end – so we’re hoping that you’ll enjoy watching this. You’ll also have the chance to see everyone else’s lanterns once everyone meets at the end.

12. Will there be any large lanterns?

Yes, we’ve commissioned some professional artists to make some ‘big-build’ lanterns – which will be iconic of the Pilgrims’ story. These will be joining the main parade along the same route as the smaller lanterns.

13. Can anyone with a lantern join the parade whether it was made in the workshops or not?

No, you need to attend a workshop to make a lantern or be attending with one of the participating schools. Free workshops are happening here:

For Gainsborough’s parade:

  • Trinity Arts Centre, Trinity Street, Gainsborough – Monday 23 October (10am-4pm)
  • X-Church, Ashcroft Road, Gainsborough – Thursday 26 October (10am-4pm)
  • United Reformed Church, Church Street, Gainsborough – Saturday 18 & Sunday 19 November (10am-4pm)

For Retford’s parade:

  • Aurora Wellbeing Centre, Memorial Avenue, Worksop – Tuesday 24 October (10am-4pm)
  • Bassetlaw Museum, Grove Street, Retford – Friday 27 October (10am-4pm)
  • Grove Street Methodist Church – Saturday 11 November (10am-4pm) and Sunday 12 November (12pm-5pm)