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Final preparations underway for Norden Farm Lantern Parade

Hundreds of lanterns will bob and weave their way through Maidenhead for the town’s annual lantern parade.

The festive family event, which will have a Carnival of the Animals theme,  is due to leave Maidenhead Town Hall, in St Ives Road, at about 5pm on Saturday (December 9).

Lantern-making workshops have been running throughout November and December and about 1,500 are expected.

The final workshop was held at Courthouse Junior School on Monday (December 4).

Teacher Kara Pettipher, who helped oversee youngsters putting together their crocodile-shaped creations, said: “It [the parade] is something which helps bring their creative sides out.

“For those who don’t like the written lessons as much it gives them a different outlet, they can come out of their shells and really enjoy it.”

On the day, music and entertainment provided by the 4x4 Bhangra Group and the Beatroots Samba Band is due to start from 4.30pm, before the parade leaves Maidenhead Town Hall.

More music and a firework finale is scheduled for about 5.45pm, weather permitting.

Robyn Bunyan, education manager at Norden Farm Centre for the Arts, in Altwood Road, which organises the parade, said: “The lantern parade is the hard work of the community and I think there’s a real charm that we’re running workshops with schools and with community groups too.

“We’ve been at Thames Valley Adventure Playground, we’ve been with the army families – people who really deserve to be part of the community.

“And when it’s dark and the lanterns are on it’s an event for everyone.

“This is my fourth parade and I’m still really excited to see the lanterns I’ve been working on in their pride of place in the town centre, it’s a unique event.”

Norden Farm will also be working again with community arts charity Same Sky, which has partnered the event for the last six years.

Each year, Norden Farm raises more than £15,000 to be able to produce the parade, which is supported by the Spoore, Merry and Rixman Foundation, The Prince Philip Trust Fund, The Louis Baylis (Maidenhead Advertiser) Charitable Trust, RBWM Kidwells Park Trust and The Shanly Foundation.

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