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Lanterns light the way to Christmas

Mike Wallbank

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Whaley Bridge Christmas Lights Lanterns Friends of Marple Memorial Park Mechanics Institute FAB Market

LANTERNS will light the way as Whaley Bridge begins its Christmas countdown.

This year there are two main events on different days - Friday December 1 for the lantern parade and switching on of the Christmas Lights and Saturday December 9, for the FAB Market and Santa's arrival by canal boat.

Friends of Memorial Park are holding two workshops at the Mechanics Institute where you can make your own willow lantern to join in the parade or create paper bag lanterns which will be festooned around the park. Children: please bring an adult with you and wear old clothes as there will be lots of glue!  Dates and times are Saturday November 18 and November 25, from 3pm until 5.30pm. Each session costs £1.50 per person.No booking required but sessions are usually well attended so are you are asked to arrive early.

* Lantern Parade - Friday December 1: assemble at Memorial Park (Goyt Road entrance) from 6.15pm  for 6.30pm start. All are invited to turn up with your lanterns on a candle-lit walk through the park to the Christmas Lights switch-on at the Station car park. Mulled wine will be served in Footsteps, 14 Market Street (SK23 7LP). 

Also taking place is a ‘find the nativity figures trail.’ Figures will be ‘hidden’ in the local businesses around Whaley Bridge and children are encouraged to walk round and find them. There will be a small prize.

* FAB Market at the Canal Basin - Saturday December 9: from 10am, Farmers’ market and crafts, arranged by Whaley Bridge Canal Group. "We have fifteen stalls confirmed and a good variety of food, jewellery, art and fancy goods, so plenty of opportunity to fill stockings," says organiser Neville Clarke. 

Santa will be arriving by boat and inviting visitors to his grotto. Adults can enjoy beer and mulled wine and a selection of hot food will also be on offer. The official opening times for the market are from 10am to 3pm, but if the weather is fine, it could go on until later in the afternoon.

More details will be online as the date approaches: or you can email