Shoreham light parade to brighten up the winter blues

A milk carton lantern
A milk carton lantern

A light parade is returning to Shoreham for the second year to bring people together and brighten up the January blues.

The Shoreham Light Parade, which sees a procession of lanterns travel from East Street to Shoreham Beach and back, was by launched by mother-of-two Lis Long in 2018.

She said: “January can be such a tricky month for so many people, with after Christmas blues, and it’s still very dark and very cold. It’s quite an isolating time.

“Doing the parade in January brings people out and gets people together.

“We are a tiny project, it’s literally just me and a couple of friends that help out from time to time, so talking about issues like loneliness is too huge an issue to take on.

“This is our way of doing a tiny little bit towards it, creating some awareness and creating a platform for people.”

Lis, who runs a community arts initiative called Apron, which is currently based at the Co-op Community Space in Ham Road, will be holding a number of workshops in the weeks leading up to the event so that people can make their own lanterns.

Instructions on how to make the lanterns from recycled jam jars and milk cartons will also be posted online, if people prefer to make them at home, and Lis also hopes to work with local schools.

More than 50 people turned out to last year’s event, braving the strong winds and ‘horizontal rain’ that almost led Lis to cancel the event.

“It was really lovely, to think it wasn’t going to happen and then to end up with a whole procession – it was great,” she said.

On Shoreham Beach there was a small sing-a-long session to the song Happy by Pharrell Williams.

This year, the theme song will be This Is Me from The Greatest Showman soundtrack.

Lis said: “It best represents what we are trying to do – to get people out to be themselves and to enjoy themselves.”

This year’s Shoreham Light Parade, which has a small amount of funding from the council, will take place on Saturday, January 26, at 5pm meeting in East Street.

All are invited to attend and Lis has ensured the route is as accessible as possible.

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