We took part in Newbury’s Festival of Light parade for the first time last year and did so again last Sunday. It’s a lovely celebration of community spirit as thousands of people gather to either watch or take part in the parade through the town centre as the sun dips below the horizon.
Many of the lantern-bearers are children – our school hosted a lantern-building workshop last year, so we have two of our own – and there were many impressively creative designs on display, from Minecraft characters to a wide variety of animals. A giant parasol-sized jellyfish was my particular favourite this year.
The parade concluded in the market square with live music and – best of all for the kids – a treat of a trip to McDonald’s for dinner. What’s not to like?
At the end of a year which feels like it has seen more death, disunity and disharmony than any other in my lifetime, it’s good to have a reminder that we can all still gather together in a spirit of fun and celebration.