On the evening of 22nd November, Bath will be celebrating the start of the Christmas season in style, with the first night of Bath Christmas Market being marked with a grand procession, organised by the Holburne Museum. The Holburne Lantern Procession has taken place during the 2nd week of Bath Christmas Market for the past 7 years, but this year it has moved to the opening night, and is going to be bigger and brighter than ever, to get the market started with a really loud bang!
As in previous years, the procession will be a community focussed event, with an emphasis on participation. Over the next few weeks, a number of workshops will be taking place at the Holburne, and in schools and community groups, to create the lanterns Inspired by the ceramic collection at the Holburne Museum, lead artist Julie Roberts has chosen the theme of ‘birds’ for the procession and will be making lanterns of all shapes and sizes following this theme.
The procession will have a distinctly carnival atmosphere, with samba and bhangra music accompanying participants along the route from the Holburne Museum (starting at 5pm), through the city and finishing at Parade Gardens where participants and onlookers will be treated to music and dancing, before departing to enjoy the Christmas Market and the festivities in the city.
If you would like to take part in the procession you can find details on the Museum’s website (www.holburne.org).
The bigger and brighter procession celebrates the start of the bigger and better Bath Christmas Market – with more than 140 stalls this year, including new areas to explore at Bath Street and Milsom Place.
Nick Brooks-Sykes, Chief Executive of Bath Tourism Plus, the organisation responsible for organising and managing the market says: ‘We are delighted to be working in partnership with The Holburne Museum on the opening night procession. We want the opening night of the Christmas Market to be spectacular and something for local people to participate in and enjoy. I am sure that the opening night celebrations will further strengthen Bath’s reputation as the South West’s Christmas destination’.
On the same night, crowds will be treated to ‘Transient Graffiti’ - a unique community development animation project which will interact with two of Bath’s iconic buildings, the Bath Abbey and the Holburne Museum, to bring their facades to life. Continuing onto the following evening, spectators can expect to see a dazzling display of animated illustration which explores the immense histories of the buildings and depicts their inner workings. The content for the projections is being produced by three local community groups in conjunction with award winning digital media company, Suited and Booted CIC. Animators Elle Farnham and BAFTA award winner Emma Lazenby have been hosting workshops with the Holburne Association of Homeless Artists, Action On Hearing Loss Educational Day Services and Bath and North East Somerset Youth Services to design and produce the final animations.
On the following morning (23rd November), Bath’s new festive outdoor ice-rink, Bath on Ice, will see its first skaters take to the ice in Royal Victoria Park in the centre of Bath – you can book your skate session online at bathonice.com.
These events are just the tip of the iceberg of the number of great things to do in and around Bath over this year’s festive season. Take a look at www.bathatchristmas.co.uk for more events and inspiration.