A feast of festive fun ahead in Kirkcaldy & it’s all for a family audience ...

:ast year's lantern parade was a success.  Pic by Walter Neilson.
:ast year's lantern parade was a success. Pic by Walter Neilson.

There may still be nine weeks until Christmas, but the preparations for Kirkcaldy’s festive celebrations are well under way.

And it’s time for members of the public to turn their attention to how their families can get involved.

This year a very special and unique event is planned for the late afternoon and early evening of Saturday, November 29.

The lantern parade through the town centre streets is back again this year following its success and popularity among families on its debut in the Lang Toun last year.

However this year the parade will finish in the Town Square where the remaining festivities - which include music, a special performance and fireworks - will take place.

Although it’s still five weeks until the celebrations, the involvement for members of the public begins next weekend as once again a series of workshops are held in the Mercat Shopping Centre for the whole community to get into the spirit and create some fantastic lanterns.

The drop in workshop sessions begin on Saturday, November 1 and will run every Saturday for four weeks in the centre’s community events space.

And organisers Kirkcaldy4All, who have teamed up with the Fife Youth Arts Hub, are hoping that this year’s Christmas celebrations will be enjoyed by local people of all ages.

Suzie Hall, from Kirkcaldy4All, said: “Last year’s feedback about the lantern parade was really good and we hope people will get involved again.”

In the run up to the parade ultra glow face painting will be taking place in the Mercat from 1.00-4.00 p.m. and those who have made lanterns can collect them from 3.30 p.m. onwards.

The parade will leave from outside the Mercat on the High Street at 4.15 p.m on the night before making its way along the pedestrianised zone of the High Street, up Kirk Wynd and along Hunter Street to the Town Square.Once again it will be led by Fife drumming group Drumatik.

In the Town Square entertainment will include music from the Salvation Army Band, community radio station K107 and a special musical performance organised by Fife Youth Arts Hub and featuring youngsters from local primary schools.

The culmination of the celebrations will be a fireworks display in the Town Square.

Janet Robertson, manager of Fife Youth Arts Hub, said the arts hub were happy to get involved.

She said: “We’ve got a specially commissioned piece of music that will be performed in front of an audience for the first time that day.

“It’s called ‘The Bringing of the Light’ and I think it’s going to be really special.

“We have six schools who are currently going to be involved, however if there are any other schools who would like to get involved we’d be pleased to hear from them.”

Step in to the workshop

In the run up to the lantern parade on November 29 a series of four creative workshops are being held in the Mercat Shopping Centre.

The workshops will take place in the community events space in the shopping centre next to TK Maxx from 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m with the first one taking place on Saturday, November 1.

They will then run every Saturday in the same location for four weeks, with the last workshop on Saturday, November 22 and the lantern parade the following weekend.

Everyone is welcome to drop in and create their own decorated lantern that they can carry in the parade.

Suzie Hall explained: “This year we’ll have the whole of the community event space in The Mercat for decorating the lanterns.

“This year the lanterns are slightly different, they are called ice lanterns and will be brighter once they are decorated than last year.

“They are made using a clingfilm like material that can be decorated.”

And once again Kirkcaldy4All has invited local primary schools to get involved with many giving pupils the opportunity to create their own lanterns within the school .

Anyone that makes their lantern at school and attends the parade will be able to collect battery operated tea lights to put in these and take part in the event.

Suzie continued: “Even if people have not made a lantern, we’d still like them to come along to the parade and get involved, even if they bring a torch!”

There are no age restrictions for the workshops and anyone can come along and be creative.

Last year saw many people get involved and make their own lanterns to carry in the procession through the town centre. It’s a chance for people to be creative, get into the Christmas spirit and be part of something special.

For full details about the lantern making workshops and parade visit www.kirkcaldy4all.co.uk/events-4-all/christmas