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Basingstoke’s town centre to light up as part of borough’s Diwali celebrations

News release 10048, published on 27 Oct 2021
A spectacular parade will light up the town centre this November as part of the borough’s Diwali celebrations.

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council has been working closely with local dance group Kala The Arts to present a fantastic festival of light parade featuring dancers, musicians, young people and community groups.

Deepali Light It Up will take place on Friday 5 November, with the parade starting at Cross Street across from Willows Coffee House at 6pm before moving throughout the Top of the Town and finishing at the amphitheatre at Festival Place.

Lit up with lanterns, LED umbrellas and lights, the parade will be led by dhol and brass players, dancers, musicians and the figures behind the story of Diwali - Rama and Sita, Hanuman and his army, Ganesh and Lakshmi.

Diwali is the five-day festival of lights and is celebrated by millions of Hindus, Sikhs and Jains across the world. It is a festival of new beginnings and the triumph of light over darkness.

Before taking in the festival of light parade, there is plenty of family fun on offer throughout the half term break as part of the Love Basingstoke Presents programme.

Design your own costume and lantern to help light up the town centre at one of the Love Basingstoke workshops taking place at the Top of the Town from 11am to 3pm on Tuesday 26 October, Friday 29 October or on Friday 5 November, before the event.

And get creative at Mandala and Rangoli workshops between 11am and 3pm on Wednesday 27 October and Thursday 28 October.

Cabinet Member for Communities, Planning and Infrastructure Cllr Simon Bound said: “Celebrating our borough’s rich diversity is incredibly important and I am delighted that we have been able to work with Kala The Arts to showcase Diwali celebrations in the heart of the town for the first time this year.

“I hope residents of all ages across the borough will come and enjoy the breathtaking festival of light parade, which symbolises hope for everyone as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, and learn why Diwali is so important.”

Priya Brown, Chairperson and Trustee of Kala The Arts, said: “For the first time in Basingstoke, we are so excited to be able to produce a number of events celebrating Diwali across the borough. The Deepali Light It Up project is supported by Arts Council England and Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council.

“In particular I am so excited for the whole community to be able to join in our parade through the Top of the Town in a celebratory display of beautiful colours, sounds, lights and performances. Diwali is not just a religious festival, it is a celebration of light and the joy, hope and security it brings to all our lives. From lighting a candle for loved ones to feeling the warmth of a log fire in winter, we can all relate to the reactions of light in our lives.

“Also at the amphitheatre we have a line-up of performances by the local communities and local and national artists. The parade will be a visual spectacle celebrating our community and one we hope we will be able to recreate year after year with the support of our town and it’s vibrant people and communities.”

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