The countdown to Christmas in Royal Leamington Spa is about to get underway as families once again prepare to light up Leamington as part of the 5th annual Lantern Parade taking place on Sunday 4th December.

The first of many FREE lantern making workshops will be held on Saturday, November 5th and again on Saturday November 20th from 10am to 4pm, at The Band Factory on Althorpe Street.

These will be interspersed with workshops at the Royal Pump RoomsΩ, Paradeç on Sunday, November 13th and Sunday November 27th, from 10am to 4pm. For those that cannot attend a workshop, Lantern Making Packs will be available to buy.

On Sunday 4th December, the lantern parade will meet in the Royal Pump Room Gardens from 4pm with entertainment on the bandstand before setting off at around 5.00pm accompanied by a local band and will finish with Christmas carols around the Tree of Lights at Leamington Town Hall.

Stephanie Kerr, executive director of BID Leamington, said: “We are expecting this year to be as spectacular as ever and once again we will also be collecting donations of new toys to be distributed to local children on Christmas Eve.

“We’re asking people to bring their gifts to one of the weekend lantern making workshops or to the Tree of Lights at Leamington Town Hall at the end of the Lantern Parade.

“The whole idea of the Lantern Parade is to bring the community together to share in the spirit of Christmas and enjoy a magical evening lighting up the town centre.”

All materials will be provided at the lantern making workshops and those taking part are asked to bring along some art clothes to wear. Advance booking is not required but it does get busy so those attending are asked to come earlier if they can and allow around two hours to make a lantern. Last entry to the workshops is at 2pm.

Lantern making packs are also available at £5 each from the BID Leamington office at 35c Park Court, off Park Street. BID Leamington would also like to hear from local schools and volunteers, aged over 16, who would like to get involved.

The popular event will follow the switching on of the Christmas lights on Sunday, November 20th when this year’s Golden Ticket Prize Draw will also be launched.

The town centre will be open every Thursday for late night shopping in the run-up to Christmas from Thursday, November 24th with free parking from 6pm in the Royal Priors.

For more information on Lantern workshops, packs and volunteering, telephone BID Leamington on 01926 470 634 or visit www.leamingtonlanternparade.co.uk.