Machynlleth Lantern Parade
As usual, we attended the annual Machynlleth Lantern Parade last night. This time though rather than being innocent bystanders watching the lantern parade go by we were an integral part of it. Having built a lantern with the Scouts over the past few weeks, it was now time for our spooky ghost lantern to join the parade.
Our ghost who had a bit of an identity crisis had been taking shape over the past few weeks at Scout meetings. His identity crisis was down to his name, was he Gethin, Gary, Gordon, George, or maybe even Georgina or Geraldine? Who knows, he seems to change it every time he / she was mentioned!
After work Anna made some last minute finishing touches to the lantern whilst I cooked dinner and then we loaded up the car and headed off to Machynlleth on what was an unseasonable warm Halloween Evening. The temperature was up around 20ºC, it was cloudy, windy and threatening to rain. Once in Mach the carnival atmosphere was getting going. We popped into the sweet shop to get our tickets for the fireworks – as part of our ‘lantern pack’ we had some free tickets to the fireworks for us and the Scouts. We bought some sweets too, whilst the ‘oldies’ danced in the street outside!
We then headed off to the top of Machynlleth for the start of the parade. We gathered with all the other Lantern builders and made some final preparations to ‘Gethin the Ghost’. Arms needed attaching, lights needed turning on, tassles needed arranging and a frame for carrying him needed to be built. Before long though he was ready, but his identity crisis deepened – now, not only was he not sure of his ghostly gender or name, but he / she was now wondering if it was a ghost at all – maybe it was a jellyfish?
Before long the Samba Band was in full swing and we joined the lantern parade as it made it’s way along the main road in Machynlleth. The road was lined with people and quite deeply in places, but as we started the procession we overheard someone say “I think the theme this year must be ‘under the sea’… look, there’s an octopus!” That was it, now Gethin had no idea, Jellyfish, Octopus, Ghost, Gethin, Gary, Gerladine? Who knows??
We all made our way along the road, waving to people as we went, and keeping the Scouts topped up with energy thanks to a bag of chips that Angharad brought along. We were towards the back of the parade so were a little bit away from any ‘action’ and obviously didn’t get to see much of it ourselves. My parents were there to take some photos though and apparently it wasn’t actually that lively an affair anyway. We did our best though by coordinating our efforts so as to make our ‘ghostly marine lantern’ attack innocent bystanders with its gangly arms.
We made our way onto the football field with all of the other lanterns in the parade and lined the lanterns up before taking up our positions to watch the fireworks. There were spots of rain in the air but thankfully it held off, even if a big gust of wind did eventually blow some of the lanterns across the field.
As usual it was a good evening out and a nice carnival atmosphere in Machynlleth. We say it every year, but if you’ve never been to it before then the lantern parade in Machynlleth is definitely worth your time. The lantern parade itself is always free to watch, and you can of course build a lantern and join in if you want. There is a fee to enter the fireworks afterwards, but that’s always worth it as well.