Community invited to build lanterns for Illuminate Festival

Thursday, 14 November, 2019
The 2018 Illuminate Parade

Giant lanterns to be used at this year’s Illuminate Festival in Harwich are being made at four community workshops.

Run by the Harwich Festival, the free workshops will see the creation of lantern banners for the Illuminate parade taking place on the first day of the festival – while people can also make individual lanterns.

An annual event for several years now, this year’s Illuminate Festival taking place on Friday 29 and Saturday 30 November will be bigger than ever as it launches 2020, a year of celebration of the 400th anniversary of the sailing of The Mayflower to the New World.

Historic Harwich has a strong link to The Mayflower as home to the ship, its master Christopher Jones – whose house still stands in Kings Head Street – and some of its crew. For this reason Harwich is part of the Mayflower 400 Compact, an international group of destinations linked to the story.

Michael Offord, General Manager at the Harwich Festival, said the workshops would be fun to take part in.

“These workshops are a great opportunity for the wider community to take part in this year’s Illuminate Festival, which is marking a significant occasion in the town’s history,” he said.

“Those who take part in the workshops can also sign up to join the parade, which promises to be a fascinating experience.

“So I would urge everyone in Harwich to come along and be a part of the celebrations.”

Workshops are taking place at the below locations – the sessions are drop-in and all ages are welcome, though children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

  • Saturday 16 November, 10am-1pm, at Harwich Library
  • Monday 18 November, 10.30am-2pm, at Harwich Arts and Heritage Centre (annexed to the Mayflower Primary School)
  • Saturday 23 November, 10am-1pm at Harwich Arts and Heritage Centre
  • Tuesday 26 November, 3-6pm, at Harwich Arts and Heritage Centre

Volunteers are also wanted to help carry giant puppet lanterns, being made by local schoolchildren, in the Illuminate Festival parade. To register your interest contact Jack Kennan at or visit the Harwich Festival website at

For the latest information on the Illuminate Festival people should visit the Historic Harwich website ( or Facebook page, or check out the Love Tendring tourism and events app.

Last updated on: 14/11/2019 - 15:27