TWO boy scouting brothers are among hundreds of people looking forward to the Warrington Lantern Parade, after they attended a special lantern making craft day at Golden Square.
Jensen McDonnell, nine and his brother Lucas, aged six, took part in a lantern making workshop at the shopping centre, where the big event will finish on Thursday night.
It is the third year the boys have taken part in the parade, which is organised by Culture Warrington and starts at 6.45pm in Queens Square on December 10.
They and their parents, Maxine and Dave McDonnell, of Penketh, say it is one of the best events of their year and are encouraging as many families as possible to take part.
Families from across the area have been attending lantern making workshops in local libraries and at Golden Square, in preparation for the softly-lit procession, which will see hundreds of lanterns snake through the town.
The theme of this year’s parade is Dick Whittington, to coincide with Parr Hall’s pantomime production in January 2016.
The procession of sparkling lights, organised by Culture Warrington, will start at Queens Gardens at 6.45pm on December 10.
It will finish with entertainment by family friendly performers at the Christmas Village in Golden Square shopping centre’s Old Market Square. The shopping centre will also remain open until 9pm.
Maxine and Dave said their two sons love the event and have kept the lanterns they made in both of the last two years.
“They are hanging around our living room, we keep them up all year round.
“We will be adding both of this year’s lanterns to the display – and hope to do the same for years to come!” said Maxine, who loves the idea of children taking part in the parade.
“It’s such a lovely procession and so memorable for everyone. The idea that they craft their own lanterns to decorate themselves makes it extra special.
“The ones we have from past parades have ladybirds on and others are decorated with glitter glue. We look forward to seeing something different and more colourful every year.”
Jensen and Lucas, who attend St Vincent’s School, Warrington, were so keen to make their lanterns that they called into the workshop on the way to a carol singing concert they were taking part in with 28th West Warrington Cub Scouts.
“They were in their uniforms, but they still didn’t want to miss out on making the lanterns,” said Maxine.
Ian Cox, centre director at Warrington Golden Square shopping centre, said: “The lanterns from the workshops look great.
“It promises to be an impressive sight when they are all paraded through together.
“We’ve laid on some special entertainment and would encourage people to stay on after the parade to enjoy the shops and our Christmas Village.”
Culture Warrington Community Artist, Andy Leigh, who was helping run the Golden Square workshop, remembered the brothers from 2014.
He said: “I recalled the boys from a similar workshop last year.
“It was great to see them again, they are so enthusiastic about the lantern parade and a great example of how the event has such a fabulous impact on families all around the town.
“It is growing in size every year, with hundreds of schoolchildren now taking part and helping create a truly unforgettable family event.”