Don’t miss Blackburn’s new summer parade!

Published Thursday 29 August 2019 at 13:52

Blackburn is set to host a new summer parade this weekend celebrating ‘Our Precious Planet.’

Throughout the summer holidays, volunteers have been taking part in a whole host of workshops organised by the same team behind the annual Festival of Light.

They scooped a £50,000 grant from People’s Projects’– an initiative run by ITV and the National Lottery to host the new parade – offering participants the chance to learn new skills including themed costume making, stilt walking, dance and parade movements.

The impressive puppets which will form art of the parade, including a giant Rhino, a green man, Polar bear and ark, have also all been made by hand over the course of the last six weeks.

Organiser Casey-St. Pierre said:

This funding came at just the right time for us as we were coming to terms with the shock of our base at St John’s Church being completely gutted by a fire.

We were all absolutely devastated, but winning the £50,000 really gave us a focus and the opportunity to turn our attention to something really positive.

The Council helped us to find a new base at the former Thwaites Visitor and Training Centre for the Bureau and Festival of Light and while it’s very different to where we were, we’ve been working really hard to make it our new home and a great base.

The main aim for this new project was to bring people together to create something really fantastic and we can’t wait for the parade to showcase all the hard work.

As well as hosting workshops for the Blackburn Festival of Light’s new event, organisers behind the Bureau have got the weekly classes back up and running, including Tai Chi, steel pan drumming and dance classes.

There’s also a designated community dark room run by Obscura Darkroom and three artist studios.

Looking to the future, they’re hoping to open a café there in the main area and there’s plans for a new, separate gallery space.

Leonie Stephenson, Director for the Bureau Centre for the Arts, added:

Our long-term ambition is to return to St John’s, but for the foreseeable future, we’re very happy here and are working with other organisations and artists to explore the potential of this exciting new space.

We are really looking forward to welcoming back existing audiences and participants as well as new people who want to get involved.

It’s hoped hundreds of people will line the streets to watch the parade that will leave at 2pm from Ainsworth Street and arrive at Cathedral Square around 3pm.

Full event details can be found on Facebook searching ‘Our Precious Planet – Summer Parade.’

Part of the funding will also be used towards the annual Festival of Light – which this year will be held on December 14.

Councillor Mohammed Khan, Leader of Blackburn with Darwen Council, said:

This new parade will be fantastic for the town and the project has been a wonderful way for people to come together and learn new skills throughout the summer.

I’d like to congratulate the organisers for working really hard to continue to really push on after the shock of the fire and I wish them all the best as they continue to go from strength-to-strength at their new base.

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