Ramsgate’s Winter Lantern Parade to return for first time since pandemic

Winter Lantern Parade 2019

Arts in Ramsgate (AiR) has announced the return of Ramsgate’s Winter Lantern Parade.

The parade will take place on Thursday 22 December and is back for the first time since the pandemic.

AiR is working with organisation Great British Carnival to produce a magical parade to cheer people up in the darkest nights. This year’s theme is ‘Safe Harbour’ and participants will be taking inspiration from the town and harbour.

The parade will go from Arts in Ramsgate HQ in the High Street at 4pm and carry on through the town to Harbour Parade.

To get ready for the parade there will be free lanterns and headdress making, drop in workshops every Wednesday at Arts in Ramsgate, 46 High Street (next to the Post Office) from November 9 between 4pm-7pm.

The lanterns are to be carried by those in the parade, they are not for releasing.

Arts in Ramsgate manager Jemma Cullen, said: “The annual lantern parade is a much loved event in the town, we are so happy we can now bring it back. We plan a town celebration that will go from strength to strength each year. Come and join in the fun.”

As part of the celebrations, there will be free drumming sessions every Thursday at Arts in Ramsgate from 5.30pm to 7.30pm. Great British Carnival is launching music project “Samba Ya Wantsum Community Bloco” led by musicians Rudy Rocha from Taru Arts and local sound artist, composer and musical director Emily Peasgood.

A Bloco is a Brazilian-style drumming band.

Great British Carnival Margate Carnival Aug 22 © Vicki Couchman Photographer

Teresa Askew, from Great British Carnival, said: “Rudy Rocha and Taru Arts have run Samba drumming sessions supporting Margate and Ramsgate Carnival for many years so we know there is a big appetite for Samba drumming locally.

2019 parade Photo Malcom Kirkaldie

“Emily Peasgood will be a great band leader for this new band. It’s very exciting to take the next step and develop a permanent community Bloco for the Isle. All abilities, most ages, are welcome – not suitable for very young children. Samba Ya Wantsum will be taking part in the parade and we hope to support many more Thanet events in the future.”

The Parade and workshops have been made possible with support from Ramsgate Town Council and a National Lottery Award from The National Lottery Community Fund


  1. When did this become a thing? I was born in Margate 35 years ago and keep my eyes and ears open but have literally never heard of this ‘popular local event’

    • Obviously Covid got in the way, but this event has taken place for several years around the time of the Winter Solstice.

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