Dragon lantern to be star of Christmas festival

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A Christmas dragon made by Nidderdale schoolchildren is to be the star of a lantern parade through Pateley Bridge to mark the town’s late night Christmas shopping event.

Children and parents turned out to a special event at Nidderdale High School and Community College to create the willow and tissue dragon, which will form the centrepiece of the 2013 St Nicholas Festival Lantern Parade.

Held in Pateley Bridge from 6pm on Friday, December 13, this festival will see crowds of people turn out to enjoy carols, singing and seasonal music, while shops will stay open late for the occasion.

“The dragon will be led by local children from Nidderdale and Darley, accompanied by a local drummer group,” said Biddy Noakes, one of the organisers. “Every Christmas, to coincide with the town’s late night shopping, we’ve had some kind of parade. We’ve had fish lanterns and birds.

“But this year we thought we would change it a bit, we decided to do one big lantern - a Christmas dragon. It’s weather permitting of course, but if it’s teeming it down with rain we can postpone the parade to the Chinese new Year.”

Events are to be held through the Festival weekend, with a family film afternoon on December 14, with face painting, Santa, and refreshments in the Memorial Hall before a showing of Disney’s ‘Planes’. Nidd Chorale will also be singing an evening of Christmas music at Our Lady Roman Catholic church.