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Truro City of Lights Festival: the night the lights come on in Truro!

If you think that your town or city pulls out all of the stops when it comes to switching on the Christmas lights, take a look at Truro! Their City Of Lights carnival does include the switching on of the Christmas lights but that is only the tip of the iceberg!
Just ask anyone who lives in or around Truro what their highlight of November is and they will probably tell you that it is the Truro City of Lights Festival. The themed carnival usually takes place on the third Wednesday in November. If you are thinking that it is just one of these seasonal events where the Christmas lights are switched on in the middle of the town, you will be in for a pleasant surprise!

Truro City of Lights Festival started in 1999

The whole community is encouraged to get involved in the Truro City of Lights event, from local businesses to all of the schools in the area. Everyone who attends the Truro City of Lights Festival for the first time will be back in future years due to the wonderful festive atmosphere that the carnival creates.

The Truro City of Lights Festival started in 1999 and each year the event has a theme which adds to the challenge. The night usually starts at around 5:45pm with music and entertainment lined up along the route of the actual parade. There is likely to be a chill in the air, so make sure that you are wrapped up warm and get yourself in position for when the actual parade starts.

Watch the Truro City of Lights Parade from your chosen spot

It should be noted that Boscawen Street can get extremely busy so unless you have your heart set on a position there, it would be a good idea to find somewhere else, especially if you have young children with you. St Nicholas Street for example might prove to be a better choice. Use the park and ride service to reach Truro City Centre which runs non-stop to the Bus Station on Green Street.

The parade route starts at Falmouth Road and snakes down Lemon Street onto Lemon Quay where it circles this wide space. It then heads down Boscawen Street via Lower Lemon Street, continues up St Nicholas Street and along River Street and Frances Street to end at the Waterfall Gardens and Hendra Park.

The Truro City of Lights Parade starts around 7pm and is led by one enormous lantern which is based on whatever the theme of that year’s Truro City of Lights carnival is based on. This centrepiece is usually professionally made and is accompanied by hundreds of smaller paper lanterns which are made and carried by the local school children and youth groups.

As the parade makes its way along the route, the effect is quite extraordinary, accompanied by music and the cheering of the crowds; it is the chance to see the centre of in a whole new light. The magical lanterns are accompanied by music, samba dancers, brass bands, pipes and drums and local school musicians!

Truro City of Lights is a great free night of live entertainment

Credit must be given to the organisers of the Truro City of Lights as well as everyone who is involved in the parade because it is obvious how much hard work has gone into it all.

Local school children spend many hours working on their lanterns and the look on their faces as they hear the appreciative crowd clap and cheer more or less says it all – absolutely fantastic! The parade also includes giant handmade lanterns carried by professional artists.

This is a great night out for the whole family and it won’t cost you a penny unless you make a charitable donation to one of the collectors who are doing the rounds. Once you’ve attended, you will understand why this is such a popular event heralding the build-up to Christmas in this local community.

Do you know of any similar parades or events which are so much more than simply switching on the Christmas lights? We’d love to hear of other Festival of Lights Parades if you know of any.

About Gillian Birch

Born in Cheshire, Gillian Birch moved to Cornwall at her earliest opportunity and never looked back. After 20 years, her ongoing discovery of popular attractions, quiet footpaths and local eateries has made her a fount of knowledge as she entertains readers with her informative articles on the hidden gems of Devon & Cornwall from a local point-of-view.

Find Gillian on Google+, and Twitter.

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