Thousands turn out at Bedminster Lantern Parade for first time in two years

Thousands of people marched through the streets of Bristol last night as the Bedminster Winter Lantern parade took place after two years of being cancelled.

The annual event, which sees lanterns made by schools and community groups paraded through the streets, also attracts music acts and hundreds of spectators.

It was cancelled last year due to the pandemic and was postponed in July because of rising cases of Covid.

The event - which was set up as a way of bringing light to the area in the darkest months of winter - has now celebrated its 10th year.

The event has now celebrated its 10th year. Credit: BPM Media

Ade Williams from Bedminster Winter Lantern Parade Project said: "One of the things I love about the story is this was meant to be a one off event by a group of people that cared about the community and thought it would be really great and worked with the local schools to do it.

"And that legacy of commitment to seeing children coming together and being at the centre of the community and how that really helps to define community and to break barriers and to send a message to the children about how loved and celebrated they are.

"This is the biggest one as well and we are just grateful for the opportunity. It's just an explosion of energy and sound and dance and those lanterns, which are just magnificent."

Organisers setting up the lanterns before the parade. Credit: Bedminster Winter Lanterns

Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, attends the parade every year and said the 2022 event is a particularly important opportunity for the city to "reconnect" after what has been a difficult time for many people.

"This is a real tradition and that makes it really special. Particularly now as there's been a lot of loss in Bristol through Covid and the lockdown.

"The chance for people to come together and reconnect and be part of a community is really important", he said.