RESIDENTS of Eastleigh are encouraged by BID to help light up the sky in the town's first Lantern Procession.

Hundreds of people are set to parade through the Hampshire town in a bid to celebrate Autumn in style, with the Mayor of Eastleigh, Councillor Darshan Mann kick-starting the parade.

Starting outside of the Swan Centre at 6PM on Saturday October 19, the skies of Eastleigh High Street will be illuminated as the parade makes its way down to the bandstand on Leigh Park.

Freelance Community Events Organiser, Caroline Rackham, was contacted by BID to help put this event in place.

She said: “I’ve ran Lantern Procession events before, in Totton and Poole, which were very successful, and we’re expecting around 200-300 people to take part this time.

“The idea is to pull together people in Eastleigh as it starts getting darker and add a bit off light and happiness to the area.”

People all across Eastleigh will be making lanterns in the coming weeks, ready to show them off on the night, with contributions being made from groups such as the Flagship Arts Group, Cherbourg and Norwood Schools, Beavers from Fair Oak and Eastleigh’s Youth Options group, as well as members of the public.

The only rule is to bring your own lantern, but not to worry if you don’t know how to make them, because BID are putting on a variety of workshops around the borough to help, as well as handing out free lantern making kits in the lead up to parade - with 50 of them available to be picked up at Eastleigh BID, Unit 2, Swan Centre in Eastleigh.

The procession will be joined by The Big Noise Samba Band, performing at the bandstand when the parade comes to a close which gives the audience a chance to take turns using their drums.

This free evening, in association with Eastleigh Borough Council, aims to help ‘brighten the darkening evenings’ and bring together the community in celebration.

For more information on how to attend one of the workshops, or about the evening itself, contact Caroline on