FOR many visitors to Ambleside, the highlight of the year is the switching on of the Christmas lights.
Unlike in many towns and cities, this is much more than just about flicking a switch. Although last year’s post-pandemic event meant that’s all it could be.
But the organisers are thrilled that this year the festivities are back in full swing. It’s a whole day dedicated to fun, music, Christmas preparation, and lots of light being brought into our winter darkness. The date is Saturday November 19.
The town’s business folk will be thrilled too, because for many of them it’s their all-time busiest day of the year. Crowds pour into the town and line the streets to watch the spectacular parade.
There’s a whole day of street entertainment and fun and games for children. There’s special sailings across the lake to find Father Christmas, and bring him back to town. And there’s an evening of spectacular fireworks in Rothay Park.
The best part for many people is the lantern parade. This begins near the Gables Hotel and White Platts recreation ground, and is joined by several hundred walkers carrying the most wonderfully imaginative home made paper and willow lanterns.
The inventiveness of design has become truly phenomenal over the years. Along with the lantern bearers, in previous years there have been carnival characters including the Snow Queen, bands, stilt-walkers, and Father Christmas himself who stops occasionally to thrown magic dust into the air – and the lights come on.
There are, inevitably, changes after a two-year absence. There have been no lantern-making workshops in the town this year, although kits have been available at our lovely local toy shop. And this time, due to safety concerns, the lanterns will contain LED lights, not real candles.
If you want to watch the parade, you’ll need to find a roadside place from about 3.30; the parade starts after 4.15. And remember that the roads into and through the town will be closed with the parade is happening.
For full details see http://amblesidechristmaslights.com/
And if you don’t have anywhere to stay yet, call us as soon as possible! 015394 33208
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