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Lighting up the Christmas Tree - Neston Style!

Author: Carrie Spacey Published: 2nd December 2019 10:28

We had Santa, we had a rocking reindeer, we had walking Christmas Trees, we had bopping penguins, a strolling snow-woman and, of course, we had Lanterns...hundreds of them!

Yes, this was Christmas, Neston style.

Neston Christmas Carnival and Lanterns 2019

Videos available to view on YouTube (David Sejrup), Facebook (Neston Life) and Instagram (neston_life).

Organised by Hip & Harmony CIC, led by Paula Prytherch, and funded by Neston Town Council, this was truly an event all the family could, and did, enjoy.

Proving to be very popular Carnival highlights were the life-size snowglobe and the reindeer rodeo attractions.  Alongside we had specially constructed game stalls, based on traditional fairground attractions. All were free to participate in and were very much enjoyed.

Neston Christmas Carnival and Lanterns 2019

To keep us fed and watered we had Elephant Coffee's Vintage Van and woodfired pizza oven and Paisley Grey's Hot Soup Kitchen on the Market Square, whilst The Blue Bicycle at The Cross did a roaring trade in Mulled Wine and Turkey Ciabattas.

Neston Christmas Carnival and Lanterns 2019Photo by Rob Clive

For entertainment there were the Woodfall Samba Band, 64 N'Ukes and the always incredibly cute younger Street Dancers from Hip & Harmony, followed by Little Actors Theatre Company who were warming up for their upcoming Christmas party.

Neston Rotary Club members, joined by friends from Willaston & South Wirral and Mid Wirral Rotary Clubs, were shaking buckets for good causes outside Santa's grotto. As always, they ensured that many, many children were left with smiles on their faces.  They'll be out and about in the local area over the next few weeks with Santa's Sleigh.

Neston Christmas Carnival and Lanterns 2019Photo by David Sejrup

The Lantern Parade (with lanterns made at workshops held at Neston Community Youth Centre) was led by the Port Sunlight Lyceum Band and Hip & Harmony's street dancers, with extra drumming from the samba band.  A sea of twinkling lights streamed down the High Street to the Cross, accompanying Santa on his sleigh.  Waiting there were the Mayor of Neston, Cllr Dominic Roberts, Rev Alan Dawson, Alan Brown from Neston Rotary and the Junior and Deputy Junior Mayors, Luc Sibeon and Yannis Papanastasiou.  After a few words were said, some terrible cracker jokes from the Mayor endured (!) and the blessing given, the countdown began, with the firing of confetti cannons adding to the sense of celebration as the Christmas tree lights came on.

Neston Christmas Carnival and Lanterns 2019Photo by Paul Sharp

Carols were led by the lovely dulcet tones of Bethany Culshaw, before a chilly, but festive and happy crowd dispersed into the night.

Neston Christmas Carnival and Lanterns 2019Photo by Rob Clive

Speaking after the event, Hip & Harmony's Paula Prytherch said: "What a fantastic night - I'm still buzzing!

"As an organiser you never quite know what the turnout will be, but I was so overwhelmed with how many people where there this year! I've never seen the Market Square so packed. Parents and children were full of smiles and Christmas spirit, it really was wonderful to see.

"The weather was perfect and everything went to plan. The parade was one of the biggest ever and full of colour and music. We may need to think about lengthening the parade route next year.

"If it wasn't for the hard working team behind the scenes, none of this would be possible, so Hip & Harmony would like to give a special thanks to:

  • Neston Town Council for funding the event;
  • NCYC's centre manager Gareth Prytherch, his staff and their amazing hard working team of volunteers for setting up, stewarding and facilitating the crowds all day (they really do work so hard);
  • John Lack, John and Margaret Quirk, Leslie Mahon and their team for designing and making all of the side show stalls from scratch (which were a massive hit)!;
  • Zaria Shreef , Claire Danks and team for facilitating the public lantern making workshops and kits;
  • AboutMyArea and Neston Life for their continuous support;
  • Contributing photographers, including Rob Clive, Brenda Roe and David Sejrup;
  • George McMahon for managing the market square set up;
  • Neston Rotary Club for bringing Santa safely from the North Pole;
  • All the wonderful volunteers who dressed up as mascots dancing and entertaining the crowds: Diane Fenton, Joe Lyon, Nicky Town, Neil Town, Shaja Tarbuck, Marnie Clark, Fin Ellam, Charly Prytherch & Grace Prytherch;
  • Councillors Louise Gittins & Martin Barker for getting stuck in and helping out;
  • Mayor of Neston Cllr Dominic Roberts, Junior Mayor Luc Sibeon & assistant Junior Mayor Yannis Papanastasiou, Reverend Alan Dawson and The Rotary Club's Alan Brown for speeches, blessings and turning on the lights;
  • Bethany Culshaw and the Port Sunlight Lyceum Brass Band for leading the carols;
  • Performers & Parade participants - Hip & Harmony's street dancers, community choir and The 64 N'Ukes. Little Actors, Woodfall samba band & friends, PAFTA and the public lantern makers.
  • St John's Ambulance
  • 'The Party Kings' for Dj'ing the day;
  • Paul Kenny from NISA for lending us a generator
  • Fs and L Ltd for their beautiful Hand crafted gifts and Paisley Grey & Elephant collective for supplying refreshments.

Neston Christmas Carnival and Lanterns 2019Photo by David Sejrup

Get involved!

All Neston's major community events rely on volunteers to make them happen. Volunteering is a lot of fun and helps build friendships, develop new skills and gets you out of the house!  If you would like to join in on a future event, please visit the Neston Community Youth Centre Volunteering page to register your interest.

Photo Gallery

Unless otherwise captioned, all photographs are ©AboutMyArea / Neston Life.

Neston Christmas Carnival and Lanterns 2019

Neston Christmas Carnival and Lanterns 2019

Neston Christmas Carnival and Lanterns 2019

Neston Christmas Carnival and Lanterns 2019

Neston Christmas Carnival and Lanterns 2019

Neston Christmas Carnival and Lanterns 2019Photo by David Sejrup

Neston Christmas Carnival and Lanterns 2019Photo by David Sejrup

Neston Christmas Carnival and Lanterns 2019

Neston Christmas Carnival and Lanterns 2019

Neston Christmas Carnival and Lanterns 2019

Neston Christmas Carnival and Lanterns 2019

Neston Christmas Carnival and Lanterns 2019

Neston Christmas Carnival & Lanterns 2019Photo by David Sejrup

Neston Christmas Carnival and Lanterns 2019

Neston Christmas Carnival and Lanterns 2019

Neston Christmas Carnival and Lanterns 2019Photo by Brenda Roe

Neston Christmas Carnival and Lanterns 2019

Neston Christmas Carnival and Lanterns 2019

Neston Christmas Carnival and Lanterns 2019Photo by David Sejrup

Neston Christmas Carnival and Lanterns 2019Photo by David Sejrup

Neston Christmas Carnival and Lanterns 2019Photo by David Sejrup

Neston Christmas Carnival & Lanterns 2019Photo by Gareth  Prytherch

Neston Christmas Carnival and Lanterns 2019

Neston Christmas Carnival and Lanterns 2019Photo by David Sejrup

Neston Christmas Carnival and Lanterns 2019Photo by David Sejrup

Neston Christmas Carnival and Lanterns 2019

Neston Christmas Carnival & Lanterns 2019Photo by Brenda Roe

Neston Christmas Carnival and Lanterns 2019

Neston Christmas Carnival & Lanterns 2019

Neston Christmas Carnival and Lanterns 2019Photo by David Sejrup

Neston Christmas Carnival and Lanterns 2019Photo by David Sejrup

Neston Christmas Carnival and Lanterns 2019Photo by David Sejrup

Neston Christmas Carnival and Lanterns 2019Photo by Rob Clive

Neston Christmas Carnival and Lanterns 2019

Neston Christmas Carnival & Lanterns 2019Photo by Paul Sharp

Neston Christmas Carnival & Lanterns 2019

Neston Christmas Carnival & Lanterns 2019Photo by Brenda Roe

Neston Christmas Carnival & Lanterns 2019Photo by Brenda Roe

Neston Christmas Carnival & Lanterns 2019

Neston Christmas Carnival and Lanterns 2019Photo by David Sejrup

Neston Christmas Carnival and Lanterns 2019Photo by David Sejrup

Neston Christmas Carnival and Lanterns 2019Photo by David Sejrup

Neston Christmas Carnival and Lanterns 2019Photo by David Sejrup

Neston Christmas Carnival and Lanterns 2019Photo by David Sejrup

Neston Christmas Carnival & Lanterns 2019Photo by Rob Clive

 

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