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Sunderland lantern festival’s 10th anniversary

Southwick Primary School pupils l-r Michael Lumsden, Chloe Stobbart and Jevon Washington with some f the lanterns for the 10th annual lantern festival in Southwick.

Southwick Primary School pupils l-r Michael Lumsden, Chloe Stobbart and Jevon Washington with some f the lanterns for the 10th annual lantern festival in Southwick.

A community celebration marked its 10th anniversary by lighting up the night.

Launched in 2002 by Southwick Community Primary School, the Lantern Festival has become one of the most popular events on the community’s calendar.

Hundreds gathered to once again parade through the streets of Southwick with their lanterns.

Every year there is a different theme to the event and this year was traditional tales from around the world

The children incorporated lots of work in class doing such things as Robin Hood, Norse gods and fairy tales.

Gill Lingwood, assistant headteacher at the Shakespeare Road school, said the whole community is involved with the event and lots of people come into school in the weeks running up to it to make their lanterns.

This year numerous groups, including churches, residential homes, community police and the Salvation Army, all made their own lanterns, as did the Mayor of Sunderland, Coun Iain Kay, whose lantern showed the City of Sunderland crest.

Mrs Lingwood said the first Lantern Festival was held as a way of welcoming children and families from other schools which were closing, to Southwick Primary.

She said: “It may have only been seen as possibly a one-off at the time and I don’t suppose it was expected we would be having our 10th anniversary.

“It has become bigger over the years and is very popular. We really look forward to it.”

The school says it is proud of the way the Lantern Festival brings people together to celebrate the community and looks forward to the future.

It is also proud of all the hard work parents and community members put in to making it such a success.

 

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