Flights of fantasy soar above stormy weather

Lamplighters parade, Todmorden
Lamplighters parade, Todmorden

Communities joined together to create a spectacular light and fire extravaganza in the Calder Valley.

Hundreds of revellers braved the elements and took to the streets of Todmorden to watch the stunning parade weave through the town on Saturday.

Lamplighters parade, Todmorden

Lamplighters parade, Todmorden

The festival, produced by Hebden Bridge based Handmade Parade, went ahead despite the appalling weather.

Organisers said many people donned waterproofs and wellies to dance in the rain and spirits were high, despite the soggy surroundings.

Andrew Kim, artistic director of Handmade Parade, said: “Thank you to all those who braved the rain and came out to be a part of this year’s Lamplighter Festival.

“We feel very fortunate to have a community who is so up for a creative celebration, regardless of the weather.

Lamplighters parade, Todmorden

Lamplighters parade, Todmorden

“It was very hard but actually very uplifting at the same time.” 

A short break in the torrential rain meant organisers, who had made contingency plans for a shorter event where people could view the lanterns, were able to put on a parade.

Stars of the show were the Lamplighter lady and swan made by Kerith Ogden, a UFO made by Sue Walpole and a robot made by Andrew Kim.

The giant illuminated puppets were joined by hundreds of lanterns made at community workshops.

Lamplighters parade, Todmorden

Lamplighters parade, Todmorden

The festival featured a host of local talent including fire-performers Flame Oz and Beatnik Collective and street bands Drum Machine, Skiband, Handmade Samba and Mr Wilson’s 2nd Liners.

There were also walkabout performances by Frolicked, Spannerman, Callaloo Carnival Arts, Les Panards Dansants and the Oaken Hoof Cloggers, and illuminated installations commissioned for the event by Walk the Plank, Space Cadets, Nick Mitchell, Handmade Parade, Enya Koster, Steve Summers and Bee Jasko.

This year’s Lamplighter Festival was made possible with funding from Todmorden Town Council, Calderdale Council, Arts Council England and Todmorden Pride.

Organisers thanked all those who contributed to the street collection on the night, which raised £290.33.

Lamplighters parade, Todmorden

Lamplighters parade, Todmorden

The event closed a busy day in Todmorden which included a Made In Tod event, St Mary’s Christmas Fair, hot food stalls and live entertainment at Water Street, a late evening Todmorden Market, Kidsfest and the town’s big Christmas lights switch-on.

Lamplighters parade, Todmorden

Lamplighters parade, Todmorden

Lamplighters parade, Todmorden

Lamplighters parade, Todmorden

Lamplighters parade, Todmorden

Lamplighters parade, Todmorden

Lamplighters parade, Todmorden

Lamplighters parade, Todmorden

Lamplighters parade, Todmorden

Lamplighters parade, Todmorden