ABOUT CROOK WINTER LIGHT PARADE
“Please, please, please, have another one next year!”
Crook Winter Light Parade 2019 will build on the success of previous years and bring local people of all ages and abilities together to celebrate the coming of Christmas through the staging of an ambitious outdoor event for all to enjoy.
As the parade producers, Jack Drum Arts will work in partnership with the Crook Community Christmas Committee, local councillors and local groups to create a parade that is similar in scale to last year’s event - and with your help even bigger and better than ever before.
The project will provide workshops in local schools, for community and youth groups and open access drop-in sessions for families to attend which will culminate in the parade itself on Sunday 24th November 2019.
Your donation will contribute towards the costs of community lantern making and puppet making workshops, a programme of workshops in local primary schools, artists, musicians and performers to support local children and young people to get involved and crucial event costs to allow for road closures and first aid.
WHAT DID WE ACHIEVE IN 2018?
“It was a beautiful bright parade, everyone in Crook came out to see it. I have never seen so many people in the street at once. It was lovely how there wasn’t just adults involved, there were plenty of children there enjoying themselves.”
In November 2018, we produced our biggest outdoor Winter Light Parade to date with the support of Northern Heartlands, Councillor Andrea Patterson, Crook Community Christmas and a team of dedicated volunteers. With funding from Northern Heartlands we were able to be more ambitious in the scale and quality of the event, including commissioning Handmade Parade, Baghdaddies, On Board Arts and lots of local artists and performers. Community involvement was huge with lots of activities including:-
- weekly sessions at two youth cafes for children and young people, working with artists to create dance routines, costumes and props;
- weekly circus skills sessions in a primary school delivered by professional circus performers;
- a four-week project in a primary school working with local artists to create a large-scale puppet for the parade; brass and percussion music workshops in a secondary school with members of the Baghdaddies band;
- weekly sessions in a local day care centre for adults with learning disabilities making costumes, lanterns, hats and other items for the parade;
- weekly sessions with a youth theatre group creating moon lanterns;
- weekly sessions bringing together 2 percussion groups, with the opportunity for a talented local young person to lead the band;
- three day-long, open access lantern-making workshops for families, working with artists from Handmade Parade.
- over 3500 people participated and/or attended the event with fantastic feedback from members of the public.
WHO IS CROOK WINTER LIGHT PARADE FOR?
“The crowd were a part of the parade. They weren't just watching it. From the older people in the care home, the dancing teens to the kids that posed for photos. They were as much a part of the parade as the performers. The energy and joy bounced back and forth.”
The parade is for everyone and we want to encourage as many people as possible to get involved. Be that as an audience member but also by getting involved in the lead up to the parade making a lantern, joining our choir, dancing in a troupe through the town, volunteering to help with large-scale puppet construction, face-painting, making costumes, supervising groups or parade marshalling on the day. There is something for everyone to do.
With your help, this year we want to offer community workshops to as many people in the local area as possible engaging those who live in the towns of Crook, Willington, Tow Law and the villages in between. Pledges of funding will ensure at least 5 schools and 5 community groups will be able to access a workshop programme in lantern making, giant puppet making, dance, music-making or for the more adventurous stilt-walking training. This will help us to build skills for the future within the local community so as a town we can sustain the parade into the future.
WHY SHOULD WE HAVE AN ANNUAL PARADE?
99% of respondents to our survey in 2018 stated that the Winter Light Parade had increased their pride in Crook as an area. 87% said it made them feel more connected to the culture and heritage of the area.
“I've never been to a Winter Parade before, and it made me feel proud to live in Crook, to be part of something that was just about us, not any religion, ideology, or specialism, just the kids and parents and artists in the area who all came together. It made me feel like I belonged, though I'm not originally from here.”
Crook Winter Light Parade 2019 is being organised in response to last year’s feedback. Local people said they felt more positive about their local community, felt proud to live where they do and excited about the possibilities of what can happen when a community comes together to do something inspiring for others.
YOU can help make this happen again by contributing towards some of the costs; any amount you can spare would be greatly appreciated. Your donation will go towards putting Crook on the map as a hub of life, light and inspiration to the thousands of visitors who come to our town each Winter to see us pull together as a community and create something that is truly spectacular.
Be an active citizen, donate now and help us to make wonderful things happen in Crook.
Thank you for your generosity and we hope to see you at the parade.