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Ryde all set for a Merry and Bright Christmas!

The New Carnival Company will be lighting up Ryde on Thursday 17 December from 5pm with a brand-new outdoor event called Merry and Bright.

The Town Centre promises to be full of seasonal magic and entertainment for all the family, which, combined with a special late-night shopping experience, is bound to blow some of those Covid cobwebs away!

One of the main attractions will be a Giant Lanterns Trail – a self-guided walk around the town to discover some fantastic creations made by local schools and community groups. There will be a wildlife themed display at Vernon Square gardens and a special Dark Sky lanterns learning zone at St Thomas churchyard. Other lanterns will be placed at various sites along High St, Cross Street, Upper George Street and down Union Street.

Street dancers, carol singers, storytellers and buskers will appear in pop up locations, all adding to the uplifting festival atmosphere.

The event will be opened by the Mayor of Ryde, Councillor Michael Lilley at a ceremony to take place at 5pm beneath the Christmas tree at St Thomas Square.

Merry and Bright is free to attend and open to all, however the rule of six and social distancing rules will apply.

Frankie Goldspink, Creative Director at the New Carnival Company said “we are delighted to be pulling together such a fabulous event with so many partners. This is just the tonic the town needs, everyone is excited to be bringing some festive cheer and celebratory arts to the streets again”.

Merry and Bright has been supported by Ryde Town Council and Ryde Business Association, and the special lantern sites at Vernon Square and St Thomas Churchyard by the Heritage Lottery through Down to The Coast, the East Wight Landscape Partnership, and IW Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

Contributors include: Oakfield Primary School, Ryde Junior School, Network Ryde, Monkton Arts, the Phoenix Club, the Ryde Society, Aspire, Theatretrain and of course work by The New Carnival Company and its associate artists and volunteers.

For more information on the above, please contact Chris Slann, executive director at the New Carnival Company on 07876 731836 or chris@thenewcarnivalcompany.com 


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