posted on October 25th, 2018

Lantern Parade returns to illuminate streets of North Belfast

Preparations are underway to spectacularly illuminate in the streets of North Belfast in a truly star-studded parade and festival.  

Ashton  and New Lodge Arts have announced that the hugely popular annual Lantern Festival will be returning for its ninth year. Organisers are putting the call out across North Belfast and beyond for participants to come join them for two days of family friendly fun on Monday 29th and Tuesday 30th of October.

This year’s theme is ‘the moon and the stars’. There will be a range of free family friendly activities and lantern making workshops on the Monday and Tuesday  before participants assemble and depart from Girdwood Community Hub on Tuesday evening, illuminating north Belfast along the way with an enchanting array of lanterns, props and costumes, ending in Alexandra Park.  

And the fun doesn’t stop there. Alexandra Park will be transformed for one evening only, with a dizzying array of arts events and activities, including a Big Top, Circus performers, live music from Bjorn Identity, art workshops, and much much more plus a grand fireworks finale! 

Paul Roberts CEO of Ashton , who lead the Festival, said: “The Lantern Parade has become something of a tradition in north Belfast, and we’re thrilled to be in our ninth year. We’re also delighted also to have such an amazing array activities and celebrations around the parade this year. The Lantern Parade is about welcoming everybody and giving anybody who wants to take part the opportunity to shine.”

Coordinator,  Gerard O’Donnell of New Lodge  said: “This is going to be a good one!  The Lantern Parade is all about coming together as an inclusive community and celebrating the very best of north Belfast. This is truly a cross community and inclusive event like to extend an invitation to anybody who wants to take part to come join us and help us celebrate what’s become an essential date in the north Belfast cultural calendar!”

North Belfast Lantern Parade Activities Programme in Full!

Monday 29th October

12pm -3pm    Alexandra Park

Join the fun with our free Lantern workshops and activities for everyone 

6pm-9pm    Alexandra Park

Settle in for a magical movie night under the Big Top,

Tuesday 30th October  

12pm-3pm Alexandra Park

Join the fun with our free Lantern workshops and activities for everyone 

4pm-6pm Girdwood Community Hub 

Come along to Girdwood Community hub for a pre-parade gathering and all sorts of street entertainment and local community groups including Kozillzion Dance troupe, Beck over mantle, workshops and much more.

From 6-9pm – Main event with fireworks, live music, circus, interactive arts workshops and much more. 


Wristbands are £2 and can be purchased from the Ashton Centre, 5 Churchill St BT15.

All parade participants will get a complimentary wrist band to enter the park!


Magical comedian “Magic George” joins Conor Larkin (10) and Lauren Smyth (11) prepare for their starring role in the Lantern Parade which is set to illuminate the streets of North Belfast on Tues 30 October. Pic by Argyll Images.