WITH the coming of Christmas, youngsters in Whitby will be adding a glow to the night sky above Whitby with their own festival of light.
Up to 100 young people and children and their families are expected to parade through town from the Market Place, holding aloft willow lanterns that they have created for the occasion.
They will then climb the 199 steps and parade through St Mary’s churchyard on the cliff top above Whitby and come together before Whitby Abbey for a festival of light organised by North Yorkshire County Council’s youth support service.
The festival, which takes place on Friday 14 December, will start at 7pm at the Market Place and will involve young people from local youth clubs as well as children and young people from six of the town’s primary and secondary schools.
The festival promises to provide an exciting spectacle in front of the abbey, with the many different willow lanterns made by young people as well as fire sculptures.
These have been created by professionals from Let’s Circus, a company that provides circus skill workshops to young people across the county through the youth support service.
In addition, children will create glow-in-the dark paintings on site as well as enjoy glow-in-the-dark face painting and the provision of seasonal food.
The evening will end with a fire show by the Let’s Circus Company.
Children from four primary schools – West Cliff, Ruswarp, Sleights and Stakesby and students from Eskdale and Caedmon secondary schools, have been working on their Christmas-themed willow lanterns over past weeks in school art classes.
Young people in youth clubs have been working with the county council’s Connecting Youth Culture artists to make bigger and more creative lanterns.
Jenny Tennant, Whitby’s area youth worker told the Whitby Gazette: “This festival will give young people a chance to enjoy a wonderful spectacle which is of their own making.
“You can create really exciting sculptures with willow and a festival of light seems so appropriate and exciting and such a positive thing for young people in the town to be involved in at this time of year.”
And county councillor Arthur Barker, North Yorkshire’s executive member for schools and the youth support service, added: “This will be a great seasonal celebration for young people in the town as well as a lovely family occasion.”