On Friday 24th November, Frome’s annual ‘Light the Night’ event saw hundreds of local people parade from St John’s Church to Frome Market Place with willow and paper lanterns designed on an ‘ice’ theme. The parade was followed by the switching on of Frome’s Christmas lights at 7pm.
The parade, led by Jamma de Samba, followed musical entertainment from Frome Town Band, Rock Choir and the Frukes, who between them provided plenty of Frome Christmas cheer to start the festive season.
The parade this year featured lanterns made in workshops by Oakfield Academy, who made penguins, Selwood Academy, who made snow people and Frome Families for the Future who made Lumi the otter and some fish, as part of their river project. (No spoilers, but we will see Lumi again next year).
A new addition to the festivities this year was the traditional Ukrainian song ‘Shchedryk’, sang by Yuliia and Olha from Frome’s Ukrainian community, better known in the UK as ‘Carol of the Bells’. This touching performance featured the two women on the balcony in traditional Ukranian festive dress, for which the large crowd fell silent.
The Ragana Fire Collective’s fire dancing display warmed the sub-zero temperatures, and the Frome Independent’s A Little Night Market provided festive food and drink till 9pm.
Otis, from St Louis First School ably assisted the Mayor of Frome Philip Campagna in turning on the Christmas lights. Otis was chosen as the mayor was very impressed by a letter that he wrote, asking him to help make Frome a plastic bag free town.
FTC councillor Anne Hills said: “The annual lantern parade is always a wonderful coming together of Frome’s community for this distinctive, creative celebration. Many thanks to Frome Light the Night for all their work before the event at community and school workshops, helping people make their beautiful lanterns.
Our mayor did a fantastic job as MC for the night, and as always, the entertainment before and after the parade was excellent. It was great to have the big man, Father Christmas, on the balcony too – wonderful that he had time to visit Frome when he must be so busy at this time of year! The Christmas lights are lit and the festive season has officially begun.”
Volunteers from local charities Active and in Touch served drinks and snacks at St John’s Church and as usual, a bucket collection was held in aid of Frome’s Christmas Get Together, a welcoming space with refreshments and entertainment for anyone who would like to come together for company and entertainment on Christmas Day. To find out more about the event or volunteer to help, visit https://www.bigchristmasgettogether.org/ or email email@example.com
For information about all upcoming events in Frome, visit https://www.discoverfrome.co.uk.