As the darker days of autumn descend upon Prince Edward County, The Firelight Lantern Festival is bringing the light!
This year’s “Together/Apart” festival includes free lantern-making kits and online tutorials, a community lantern gallery, a scavenger hunt and some very special performances screening online Saturday November 7th.
Since 2013 members of The Department of Illumination Artistic Company have taught more than 1000 people how to make their own beautiful, handmade lanterns to carry in their magical community parade down Main Street Picton.
This year organizers have adapted the program for Covid times, to help keep the community safe while still marking this cherished annual tradition. “The lanterns that we create each year are a symbol of conjuring our own light to sustain us through the dark winter months,” says Artistic Director Krista Dalby. “Of course this symbolic act is now more important than ever.”
There are a number of ways people can get involved. First up: get creative! Starting October 12th, there will be free lantern-making kits available for pick-up at Books & Company, sponsored by the Picton Recreation Committee.
Each kit contains almost everything you need to make 2 small or medium lanterns, all you need is a pair of scissors and a plastic table covering. Don’t know how to make one? No problem!
There are two lantern-making tutorials on the DOI website: www.deptofillumination.org.
Lantern-makers are encouraged to bring their creations to Books & Company between 10 AM and noon on Friday October 30th to display in the community lantern gallery in the bookstore’s window until November 6. All who participate will be entered in a draw to win one of three gift certificates to the store.
From October 24th to November 7th people can join in The Great Lantern Hunt for their chance to win some more amazing prizes! There will be 20 star-shaped lanterns displayed in windows of businesses all around Picton. Each star has a word written on it – write down the name of the business and the word on the star and send to firstname.lastname@example.org by November 7th at 5 PM for your chance to win!
Finally, there will be a very special online celebration on festival night, Saturday November 7th at 7 PM. Although there will be no parade this year, organizers have put together a fantastic program of local music with lots of fun, surprises and inspiration in store!
Mark your calendar and check the DOI’s social media or website for details on how to tune in.