Lantern parade lit up Gainsborough to celebrate its heritage and Pilgrim Roots

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Hundreds of people turned up to join in the celebrations for the town’s second Illuminate lantern parade.

Children and community groups from across Gainsborough, led the way with their own lanterns, as they paraded them through the town.

The parade commemorates the region’s Pilgrim Roots and the important role in world history.

Prior to the event artists worked closely with a range of community group leaders, schools and members of the public, to help them create the willow and paper structures, for the event.

The event started with a service at the United Reformed Church, which is also known as the John Robinson Memorial Church. It was built to commemorate Pastor John Robinson, who became the leader of the Pilgrims in Holland, before some of them made their historic voyage across the Atlantic.

Audiences were treated to a dance performance from the ‘Imagination Museum: Mayflower 400’ dancers.

All guests then walked with their lanterns to the Gainsborough Old Hall, where they were treated to a special digitally projected film, which had been commissioned for the parade.

It was developed from stained glass panels designed by pupils from Parish Church Primary School and projected on to the outside of the Gainsborough Old Hall for everyone to see.

Alongside bespoke pilgrims’ heritage themed lanterns, there was a special performance by young people from the Performing Arts Club St Johns as part of the parade.

This year’s event has been made possible by a grant from Arts Council England. The formation of a regional Pilgrim Roots partnership as part of the national Mayflower 400 project has helped support the development of Illuminate, including support from Transported who manage Boston’s Illuminate event.

Find out more about Gainsborough’s Pilgrim heritage and West Lindsey’s partnership in the official Mayflower 400 project at