Christmas Lantern Parade 2022
Sunday 4th December 2022 at West Horsley Place
A Report by Cllr Mel Beynon
Our prayers were answered! After about four days of non-stop rain, the sun didn’t exactly shine, but a least it was dry. The whole of the Lantern event was to happen outdoors and although West Horsley Place had kindly offered us a dry and sheltered alternative, the plans were for the whole event to be open air and we were very pleased that was what happened.
The courtyard in front of the newly refurbished barn, was a hive of activity as eager young hands moved from one table to another to compete each stage of the lantern building. The table that was most enjoyed, I think, was where they had to decorate their lanterns with various stickers and “jewels” before moving to the final stage of being given the lantern stem from which to hang their newly created lanterns.
The lantern bearers assembled quietly and when everyone was in place, the procession moved across to the field and down towards the front of West Horsley Place. There they were greeted by a 25-strong choir of eager Whippets who entertained us royally with a selection of traditional carols and modern Christmas songs. There were some very lovely solos too, which made it all a rather magical atmosphere.
It was getting very cold by the end of the performance, but that was soon solved with plentiful supplies of mulled wine, mince pies and ginger biscuits.
The Lantern Procession has, in the past, been a much more modest event which terminated in the Village Orchard. This year’s event was much more ambitious. For the first time we set up a box office for the free event, with all places spoken for within 24 hours! Sadly, Covid, flu and the threat of Strep A reduced attendance a little, but we were still delighted to welcome more than 100 people to the event. We very much hope to be able to return to West Horsley Place next year. Watch this space for details.
Cover image shows the Whippets choir and their families waiting for the lantern parade to arrive.