Merry and Bright: Lantern parade and digital art light up Ryde’s Festive celebration

This Christmas, Ryde is preparing to dazzle with its annual festive event, ‘Ryde Merry and Bright’.

Hosted by New Carnival, this free two-day celebration promising to deliver an unparalleled experience for families, friends and guests from every walk of life.

Lantern parade to illuminate the streets
Kicking off on Friday 8th December, the festivities commence with a lantern parade from 6pm to 7pm. This spectacle promises to set a magical mood for the entire weekend.

Building on the success of the South West Railway, New Carnival and Viva’s project, ‘A Railway by the Sea’, this year’s parade will feature the much-anticipated polar express train journeying through Ryde.

Bring a lantern and join the parade
Residents and visitors are encouraged to be part of this radiant march. All are invited to bring a lantern and gather near Aspire, at the top of Dover Street by 5.45pm.

The route spans from Star Street, through High Street and Union Street, and concludes at Western Gardens.

Lantern workshops
For those keen to craft their own lanterns, community workshops will be held in Ryde on 26th November and in Brading on 2nd December.

To join in, reach out to New Carnival to reserve a spot. Additionally, local schools and carnival associations are gearing up to be a significant part of this winter parade.

A wonderland of light
As darkness falls, a spectrum of static illuminations will light up the town, turning it into a magical wonderland. Spectators can look forward to immersive interactive artworks and fascinating installations dotted around the town.

Highlights include breathtaking displays at Vernon Square and the ‘Neon Gardens’ at St Thomas’ rest. As you wander, anticipate surprise pop-up performances, melodious music, and captivating art pieces.


Live music
The roster of performers boasts notable names like Mila Lake from ITV’s The Voice, Jay Eatwell of Channel 4’s ‘The Piano’, and many more.

Also, in a bid to promote local talent, performances by the Isle of Wight College‘s arts students and Aspire’s Creative Hub youngsters are sure to inject enthusiasm and delight.

Digital projections: The highlight of the event
New Carnival has received funding from the Hornpipe Trust and Portsmouth Guildhall to undertake a pioneering digital art project. As a part of this initiative, young people will have the opportunity to delve into digital art and explore the myriad creative and career prospects it offers.

Their artworks, curated with expertise by Light Art Creatives from Bournemouth, will be magnificently projected onto St Thomas church.

Ray: A dream come true
Hannah Ray, the director of New Carnival, expressed her excitement, stating,

“This is a dream come true. I’m eagerly awaiting the display of the young artists’ works on such an impressive scale in the town centre.”

Fun for the whole family
‘Ryde’s Merry and Bright’ 2023 is crafted to appeal to every member of the family. An assortment of family-friendly activities promises to enthrall the young ones. From craft workshops, circus skills, festive delicacies, and meeting Santa to chasing the Grinch or hunting for elves, there’s an activity tailored for everyone.

Reiterating the spirit of community and togetherness that this annual event encapsulates, New Carnival collaborates with the Ryde Town Council, Ryde Business Association, and other local groups to bring this extraordinary event to life.

Celebration awaits
Don’t forget to mark your calendars for 8th and 9th December.

‘Ryde’s ‘Merry and Bright’ 2023′ guarantees to not only brighten the town but also to light up your festive season. Come and experience a holiday season that is truly ‘Merry and Bright’.

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