Festive lantern parade lights up Fordingbridge for Christmas

FORDINGBRIDGE was lit up by lanterns for Christmas as part of a special event.

More than 100 people, including children, their families and carers, took part in Avon Valley Community Matters’ (AVCM) first Lantern Parade in the High Street on Friday evening, during the town’s annual Late Night Shopping event.

The parade was organised in collaboration with Culture in Common, the Salvation Army, Fordingbridge Events, the town council and the Rotary Club of Fordingbridge.

Prior to the parade itself, the AVCM team organised a free Family Lantern Making Workshop in order to create the wonderful spectacle which lit up the town.

Headed up by a pair of well-behaved Kelly’s Donkeys, the procession began and ended with stories of light and wonder from internationally-acclaimed storyteller Danya Miller.

In between, the parade lit up the High Street and dazzled hundreds of late-night shoppers out for a spot of Christmas shopping, to witness the turning on of the town’s Christmas lights and to enjoy the evening’s entertainment organised by Fordingbridge Town Council.

Claire Godson, AVCM’s family befriender, said: “We are so delighted by the support from so many families as well as local organisations for our very first, spectacular lantern parade.

“Thank you to everyone who took part for making it such a memorable occasion. We feel so lucky to be part of this wonderful community – such kind support enables us to continue our charity’s aim of ‘reaching out to all’.”

AVCM’s new shop on the High Street was also open for the first time on the night – with staff and volunteers enjoying watching the parade and welcoming shoppers in.

The group runs the local, inclusive Superstars Playgroup from 9.30am each term-time Friday morning at St Mary’s Church Hall in Fordingbridge.

And during the holidays, staff and volunteers offer free activities, including Picnics Together, Building Together and Christmas Together.

The charity also offers bereavement support, runs a friendship Group and a miscarriage support group.

For more information on the charity’s community outreach projects, or if you would like to get involved and join AVCM’s volunteer team, visit, email, or call 01425 653258.

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