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Get creative this Christmas and make a lantern to carry
Children in the Tamworth area of Staffordshire have been getting into the spirit of Christmas by taking part in lantern workshops ready for the town's major yuletide parade. Local youngsters enjoyed free drop-in workshops during last week's half-term school holiday, where they made special lanterns to carry in the Christmas Lantern Parade in Tamworth. The parade of children walking through Tamworth Castle Grounds carrying lanterns is a key part of the town's annual Christmas Lights Festival. It will make its way to St Editha's Square in the town centre in time for the switching on of the Christmas lights on Sunday 24 November. The lantern-making workshops took place in Ankerside Shopping Centre in Tamworth town centre on Saturday 26 October. Local artist Maggie Carney was on hand to help children build and decorate a card lantern to carry in the parade. Children were able to decorate their lanterns using sparkles, glitter and stickers. The next lantern-making workshop is set to take place on Saturday 16 November, again in Ankerside Shopping Centre, from 10am to 12pm and 1pm till 3pm.
Maggie said: "Children made a great start at the recent Art Attack event and the half term workshops, creating the new designs for the parade that will represent the 12 days of Christmas. This year, 12 community groups are also getting involved in making a new and bigger lantern design with each one themed with one of the 12 days of Christmas. Families and children are invited to join the project at the final workshop on November 16. Thank you to everyone that has helped so far; I look forward to seeing all the children return on November 24. This will make it the biggest and best parade to date!" Councillor John Chesworth, Tamworth Borough Council's Cabinet Member for Culture and Operational Services, said: "What a fantastic response to the lantern drop-in workshops. We all look forward to the annual Christmas Lights Festival as it marks the start of the main countdown to Christmas. This is an incredibly popular event in our calendar of free entertainment for residents and visitors and it's a lovely festive day out. We are again inviting youngsters to really be a part of that with their families by joining the Christmas Lantern parade which also includes this year 12 community groups that will design 12 large lanterns that will be displayed at the Bandstand. Thank you to everyone who has taken part in the workshops so far. I look forward to seeing them glowing in the magical parade."
The completed lanterns will be carried in a special festive parade