Christmas in our town begins on the first Saturday during December with the town lantern parade and the switching on of the lights. We had a lovely festive weekend. We picked up our lanterns from the town hall then headed to watch Frozen 2 at the Torch Theatre. Once the film ended we headed to the Lantern Parade:
Outside the town hall there were free fair rides and entertainment, such as carols from the Neyland Ladies Choir. We visited the nativity scene before it was lit up too.
Then we headed up to Charles Street to get ready for the Lantern parade. Poor Caitlyn looks sad here- she’d sprained her wrist so was in pain. Izzy wasn’t her usual happy self either as she’s starting to get a cold but we made the best out of our day anyway as they didn’t want to miss out.
Usually, we decorate our lanterns, but we didn’t have time this year as you could only collect them on the same day. In the past, kids used to decorate them in schools but it’s more a family event now. After a short wait, the band started playing and we all began following Santa in his sleigh around the parade route.
I do love living in a town that overlooks the sea!
Can you spot Santa’s sleigh ahead of us?
It does look beautiful seeing all the lit up lanterns ahead of you in the parade. There’s a magical atmosphere.
Eventually we returned to the town hall. Santa came out onto the balcony and, with the help of local school children competition winners and a big crowd countdown, turned on the town lights to cheers and applause.
A new tradition that the kids started a few years ago is hot chips after the lantern parade to warm them up.
It was so lovely to have Danny there too with Holly watching the parade.
Then it was time to post our letters to Santa. We love the special Santa’s Mail postbox and were saddened to see other people using it as a table/bin for coffee cups and somewhere to lean on instead of letting all the children post their letters. I did think we were going to have to come back another quieter evening but eventually we got to it and could use it for it’s intended purpose.
We’re lucky to have wonderful town council staff to help Santa with his letters but if you don’t you can always send a letter to Santa via the Royal Mail.
Lastly we went to see the nativity scene, now lit up.
It was a lovely weekend spent watching a winter film, joining in the lantern parade and attending our first carol service of the year. I’m not at all ready for Christmas and we don’t have our decorations up as we usually do by now but we’re feeling festive and enjoying the traditions and experiences along the way which is more important.
Thanks to Milford Haven Town Council, Milford Haven Round Table, Jim Hughes of Radio Pembrokeshire, Milford Haven Town Band, Neyland Ladies Choir and everyone involved for all they do to put on this event each year- it’s much appreciated!
Were your town lights switched on this weekend? What festive activities have you been up to?
I didn’t get a chance to film this year’s parade but take a look at some past videos of Milford Haven Lantern Parade:
Lovely to have these traditions and memories