Belfast Harbour Lights Up The Shankill Road With Beat Carnival

Beat Carnival to host the ‘Light Up The Road’ parade

Belfast’s Shankill Road will be illuminated with lanterns on Friday 30th November as Beat Carnival host the ‘Light Up The Road’ parade with support from Belfast Harbour.

The Shankill Lantern parade will be running for the third year in a row with over 1,000 local participants lighting their lanterns as part of the Greater Shankill Winter Festival. The parade is part of a programme of activities organised by the Beat Carnival, including workshops where community participants will design and construct a main visual centrepiece to the parade.

This year’s theme is ‘The Magical Unicorn’ and community participants will create a float in the shape of a large Unicorn feature. The workshops will be guided by Beat’s specialist construction artists. The feature will be displayed at the event finale location where Frank Mitchell will switch on the Christmas Lights and performances will take place.

Beat Carnival is a carnival and community arts organisation operating since 1993. The company creates spectacular carnival events with large community participation in public places. Beat’s operation provides an open and safe space for engaging with communities, learning arts skills and uniting through carnival.

Jenni Barkley, Belfast Harbour’s Communications and Corporate Responsibility Manager, said:

“Belfast Harbour is proud to continually support local projects which encourage the promotion of the arts. The Beat Carnival is a great initiative promoting cultural celebrations that are inclusive, creative experiences for the local community.

“These workshops provide a space for the local community to express themselves and exercise their artistic talents while also being able to join together for a collective celebration. We need more experiences like these workshops provided by the Beat Carnival that empower local participants with a sense of achievement as they see their hard work displayed to an audience of 7,000 people.”  

David Boyd, Director at Beat Carnival, said:

 “Support from Belfast Harbour is critical in bringing our programme to life. The Lantern Parade is a highlight of the Greater Shankill Winter Festival and we hope it is a manifestation of the hard work the community have put into the workshops.

“It’s not just about celebrating culture but encouraging the local participants to endeavour to create, the ‘Magical Unicorn’ float is a visible demonstration of the participants’ own creative achievement.

“Beat Carnival has been bringing arts into communities across Belfast for over 25 years, we like to think big about celebrating cultural life in ways that are ambitious and welcoming to all.”