COMMUNITY spirit shone through in a spectacular evening of light and festivities at the Tameside Lantern Parade.
Over 2.5k people came along to the We Shine Bright Together event on Saturday 12 November – the first of many celebrations and Christmas light switch on events across the borough.
The parade was more spectacular than ever with approximately 1000 people, representing all the borough’s towns, taking part. The procession included 15 community groups, six schools, three colleges, five brass bands and a Samba band as well as families, groups of friends and individuals.
The event, in Ashton town centre, culminated with a traditional Christmas light switch on and firework finale in Old Cross Street Car Park with Tameside Civic Mayor Cllr Phillip Fitzpatrick and Executive Leader Cllr Kieran Quinn in attendance.
Tameside Council worked with internationally renowned arts organisation Handmade Parade to run the event, funded by Arts Council England, AGMA and You Choose.
Participants had taken part in free lantern making workshops with professional artists in preparation for the evening.
Spectators also enjoyed a Christmas craft market in Market Street, which tied in with the event.
Executive Member Cllr Ged Cooney, responsible for culture, said: “What a wonderful celebration of all the communities that make up this borough. Thanks to everyone who joined us for this very special evening – including the many volunteers who gave up their own time to steward the event to help ensure it ran safely and smoothly for everyone to enjoy.
“The celebrations aren’t over yet. The communities in all our towns have planned some great Christmas lights switch on and celebration events with activities and entertainment for all the family. Do get involved, support your local towns and businesses and share in the festivities.”