Giant polar bear ready to take to Carterton’s streets
A giant polar bear and life-sized penguins made from paper and willow are preparing to the take to the streets of Carterton for next week’s Winter Lights Processions.
The huge lanterns are part of this year’s ‘icy world’ theme and will feature alongside hundreds of other smaller lanterns at the procession on Friday 14 December.
Each of the lanterns have been carefully crafted by schoolchildren, various community groups and local residents at workshops ready for the event, which starts at 6.30pm outside Carterton Community Centre, in Marigold Square on the Shilton Park development.
The lanterns will be lit and carried along the 40-minute walk to bring together the local community.
Students at Carterton Community College (pictured) worked with Oxford-based artist Emma Reynard to sculpt a large polar bear, which will be the largest lantern and a centrepiece at the procession.
The polar bear is so big that a window had to be taken out at the school to move it ready for the procession.
Student Bronwyn Peatman, 15, said: “Working on this helped us to get to know each other better – it’s been a bit of an ice-breaker. The procession is good for the town and bringing people together.”
Dan Bullen, 15, added: “It’s been really surprising – I had no idea that you could use different willow and materials to make something so effective.”
West Oxfordshire District Council has organised the workshops and procession with support from Carterton Town Council, Carterton Community Centre and Carterton Lions, and public art funding from developers of the Aldi store in the town.
Cllr Richard Langridge, the District Council’s Cabinet Member for Local Economy, Communities and Culture, said: “From schools and groups for disabled people, to drop-in sessions for anyone who has wanted to be part of this special event, the community involvement has been amazing this year.
“The workshops create an opportunity to learn a new skill and meet new friends, and bring together people from all walks of life. The artic-themed lanterns will look wonderful marching through Carterton and we hope everyone enjoys the grand finale!”
The final public workshop, giving people the chance to create their own lanterns for the processions, takes place on Saturday (8 December) from 11am to 4pm at St John’s Church Hall. Entry is free and under-8s should be accompanied by an adult.
The procession is free and finishes at St John the Evangelist Church, in Burford Road, with singing, refreshments and a chance to meet Father Christmas. It is open to everyone and people do not need to have made a lantern to join in.
For more information about the procession, call 01993 861080.
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