We’re going to go out on a little bit of a limb here and declare the Lantern Parade to be possibly our favourite thing in Liverpool.
We can’t commit, you understand. On such claims, empires could rise and fall, dogs go mad and WAGs faint in Newz Bar. But it’s certainly up there.
No-one familiar with the annual parade around Sefton Park – usually around Halloween or Bonfire Night – will find this claim hard to believe. As a spectacle, as a piece of theatre that can be enjoyed by all ages, as a sound experience, the parade is simply wonderful.
And yet it’s so simple. People build lanterns throughout the year. When darkness falls, they walk around Sefton Park to the accompaniment of music and good cheer.
At the end of the parade a spectacular tableau comes to life, before being engulfed in fire and showered with fireworks. This year’s was a riff on Charon traversing the Styx.
Heady stuff, and the uncanny soundscapes, twitching, writhing skeletons and gnashing skull lanterns could certainly frighten the little ones – were it not for the overriding sense of fun permeating everything.
Everyone at the Lantern Parade seemed caught up in the experience, and a wide range of ages, colours and outlooks are evident at the finale, all similarly spellbound.
It’s a dazzling sense experience and a wonderful example of the depths of creativity in Liverpool – and how that creativity can be harnessed in the community.
And that’s why the Lantern Parade may just be our favourite thing in Liverpool.