Locals Light up the Road at the First Shankill Lantern Parade

Over 7,000 people collaborate and celebrate for inaugural Christmas carnival.

Belfast Harbour is proud to support the first Shankill Lantern Parade as part of the Light Up The Road Event, an exciting new initiative and collaboration between Beat Carnival and Shankill Arts Forum, which launched on Friday 2nd December.

The festive-themed event was aimed at encouraging the community to join together, from youth groups to school groups, to take part in free workshops across the Greater Shankill area.

Thanks to the generous funding of the Belfast Harbour there were numerous different activities for all ages to experience and enjoy, such as workshops on lantern making, carnival dance, carnival drumming and street theatre. Groups and individuals taking part in the workshops were also given the opportunity to showcase their creations and show off their Christmas spirit, by participating in the Light Up The Road lantern parade.

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

Locals Light up the Road at the First Shankill Lantern Parade
Belfast Harbour's Jenni Barkley and Beat Carnival's David Boyd with David Thompson and Abbie Boyd.

“Community outreach programmes such as Light Up The Road, are one of the many ways that Belfast Harbour supports the arts and young people.

Beat Carnival’s ethos of developing artists and encouraging community participation was what we were particularly drawn to. It’s fantastic to see communities get together for such events and we are very keen to see more of this in Belfast.”

David Boyd, Beat Carnival, said:

“Carnival is an art form that has universal appeal, with shared celebration where both diversity and creativity are championed. This type of occasion is really something for the entire community to get involved in.

We were excited to be producing the lantern parade in our neighbourhood of Greater Shankill for the first time. This is a fantastic opportunity to encourage lots of groups to showcase their community spirit and a local take on carnival. Over 600 people have taken part creating lanterns in community workshops and with over 50 in dance and drumming workshops. We couldn’t have delivered all this without the help of Belfast Harbour!”

The community soaked up the Christmas spirit provided by the bumper programme of activities that ran throughout the evening. The dazzling event included a travelling star through the Shankill, a lantern parade that lead to the Christmas Lights Switch-On at the Community Garden before the grand finale performance from the Beat Carnival, which rounded off the exciting evening of events.