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Spitfire Lanterns Light Up Christmas in Newcastle

A ‘squadron’ of Spitfires is set to help add a special seasonal glow to Newcastle this weekend.

Designs in the shape of the classic wartime aeroplanes form part of a collection of more than 200 hand-made lanterns, which will be paraded through the town centre on Saturday, 10 December.

The lanterns have been created during special public ‘drop-in’ workshop sessions held in an empty shop unit over the past month and the ‘light work’ carried out by Newcastle Lanterns Supporters’ Club (NLSC) culminates in this weekend’s Midwinter Wakes Lantern Parade.

“The theme of this year’s community parade is ‘Flight’ – hence the Spitfire designs,” explained Rebecca Leach, of NLSC.

“Our workshops – which are run by professional artists and volunteers – are particularly aimed at vulnerable young people who are not in education or employment, and help to build their personal confidence, social network, skills and sense of community.

“The parade itself provides a real sense of belonging and community, especially in the run-up to Christmas, and we are hoping that the weather on Saturday will be seasonal but kind to us, with as many people as possible turning out to take part or simply enjoy the event.”

Starting from the top of Ironmarket at 3.30pm on Saturday, the parade will proceed down Market Lane, Hassell Street and High Street, finishing near The Guildhall.

Cllr Tony Kearon, Cabinet member for Communities and Social Cohesion, said: “The partnership is pleased to support this year’s Lantern parade which aims to change perceptions of personal capacity and social responsibility through community art and work to reduce the fear of crime by promoting proactive community projects.”

The project has been supported by the Newcastle Partnership’s Joint Operations Group.