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Lantern Festival: Magic on the Streets of Sharrow

Herds of excited lantern bearers dressed in vibrant costumes from all walks of life, entertainers, fire jugglers, dancers and performers parading the streets of Sheffield to the beat of the samba drum. A spectacle of colourful lanterns of all shapes and sizes illuminating the night skies of Sheffield with pulsating, electrifying, magical ambience, voyaging to the Sheffield General Cemetery and wowing the people of Sharrow. This fantasy will become a reality come 1st April for all the attendees of this year's Sharrow Lantern Carnival. Creative Action Network (CAN) have been organising and running this remarkable event annually for the past eight years and have had an increased number of attendees every year. Last year, over 3,000 people were dancing down the streets of Sharrow. Creative Action Network is a non-profit organisation aiming to bring the community together through creative activity. Mainly working in Sharrow, CAN is involved in Blend cookalongs, Magic Lantern Film Club, Sheffield Independent School of Art and community events at The Old Junior School. The theme for this year's Sharrow Lantern Carnival is Magic and this is certainly shown in the lantern making workshops, where all sorts of enchanting creatures, large and small, petrifying and dazzling, are being created for the main event. The workshops entice a wide variety of people. The Old Junior School has become a hit with families, whereas Highfield Trinity Church has attracted some talented individuals creating gigantic lanterns. The workshops are run by volunteers who are always friendly and willing to help, and all materials, from bamboo to tissue paper, are provided. Workshops are free and everyone is welcome. Every Saturday until 31st March you can make small lanterns at The Old Junior School, South View Road or larger creations at Highfield Trinity Church Hall, off London Road from 12-4pm. The Lantern Carnival will commence at Mount Pleasant Park at 7.30pm on Sunday 1st April. Setting off at 8pm when the sun goes down, the attendees and performers will parade through the streets of Sharrow to Sheffield's General Cemetery, where the fun will continue with musical entertainment and fire spinning. The carnival will be postponed to 15th April if it rains. It is run entirely by volunteers and is supported by The Old Junior School, Sheffield General Cemetery, Highfield Trinity Church Hall and Sheffield City Council. Luisa Golob, Managing Director of CAN, said: "I have been part of running the Lantern Carnival for the past six years. Every year it makes my mouth hurt I am smiling so much. When else do you get the chance to dance down the street with 3,000 people carrying a massive bamboo whale?!" For more information about the carnival or stewarding on the day, visit creativeaction.net or email creativeactionnetwork@googlemail.com. )

Next article in issue 48

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