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Let there be light

Bennington and Peterborough usher in the holiday season with nighttime light and lantern parades

  • Bennington added a light parade to its Christmas tree lighting Sunday night. Staff Photo by Meghan Pierce

  • Bennington added a light parade to its Christmas tree lighting Sunday night. Staff Photo by Meghan Pierce

  • The Children and the Arts Festival Committee’s first Festival of Light Lantern Parade in downtown Peterborough drew more than 1,000 people and more than 500 lanterns to the annual Christmas tree lighting events Saturday. Staff Photo by Meghan Pierce

  • The Children and the Arts Festival Committee’s first Festival of Light Lantern Parade in downtown Peterborough drew more than 1,000 people and more than 500 lanterns to the annual Christmas tree lighting events Saturday. Staff Photo by Meghan Pierce

  • The Children and the Arts Festival Committee’s first Festival of Light Lantern Parade in downtown Peterborough drew more than 1,000 people and more than 500 lanterns to the annual Christmas tree lighting events Saturday. Staff Photo by Meghan Pierce

  • Chloe Bosk, 6, of Sharon with her handmade lantern at the The Children and the Arts Festival Committee’s first Festival of Light Lantern Parade in downtown Peterborough Saturday. Staff Photo by Meghan Pierce

  • The Children and the Arts Festival Committee’s first Festival of Light Lantern Parade in downtown Peterborough drew more than 1,000 people and more than 500 lanterns to the annual Christmas tree lighting events Saturday. Staff Photo by Meghan Pierce

  • The Children and the Arts Festival Committee’s first Festival of Light Lantern Parade in downtown Peterborough drew more than 1,000 people and more than 500 lanterns to the annual Christmas tree lighting events Saturday. Staff Photo by Meghan Pierce

  • The Children and the Arts Festival Committee’s first Festival of Light Lantern Parade in downtown Peterborough drew more than 1,000 people and more than 500 lanterns to the annual Christmas tree lighting events Saturday. Staff Photo by Meghan Pierce

  • Vermont-based international visual artist Gowri Savoor, center, helps lead Peterborough’s first Festival of Light Lantern Parade Saturday night. Savoor taught the community lantern making and helped organize the parade. Photos by Steven Lipofsky, www.Lipofsky.com

  • Vermont-based international visual artist Gowri Savoor at Peterborough’s first Festival of Light Lantern Parade Saturday night. Savoor taught the community lantern making and helped organize the parade. Photos by Steven Lipofsky, www.Lipofsky.com

  • Vermont-based international visual artist Gowri Savoor used about 100 mason jars and some lanterns to create an enchanted forest effect in the woods behind Putnam Park during Peterborough’s first Festival of Light Lantern Parade Saturday night.  Photos by Steven Lipofsky, www.Lipofsky.com

  • More than 1,000 people turned out for Peterborough’s first Festival of Light Lantern Parade Saturday night.  Photos by Steven Lipofsky, www.Lipofsky.com

  • Vermont-based international visual artist Gowri Savoor at Peterborough’s first Festival of Light Lantern Parade Saturday night. Savoor taught the community lantern making and helped organize the parade. Photos by Steven Lipofsky, www.Lipofsky.com



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Tuesday, December 04, 2018 10:48AM

The towns of Bennington and Peterborough found ways to light up the first dark December nights with light and lantern parades at their Christmas tree lighting festivities over the weekend.

The Festival of Light Lantern Parade

The Festival of Light Lantern Parade in downtown Peterborough drew more than 1,000 people and more than 500 lanterns to the annual Christmas tree lighting event Saturday.

“It was delightful. We were really lucky to have excellent winter weather and I overheard people saying the word ‘magical’ over and over again to describe it,” said volunteer Jenny Donelan.

Donelan helped plan the Festival of Light Lantern Parade in a sub-committee of the Children and the Arts Festival Committee. The Children and the Arts committee wanted to create the event as an extended celebration of its 25th anniversary of its annual May festival. Vermont-based international visual artist Gowri Savoor was brought in by the sub-committee to teach lantern making and organize the event.

“We didn’t know what to expect,” Donelan said. “She’s done this with other towns and she was very positive about it and we thought it’d be cool, but I would say it exceeded our expectations.”

Savoor had the idea of adding 100 mason jars, with LED lights inside, and some lanterns in the woods behind Putnam Park where the parade ended, she said. “That just created a very cool, I think what she called it was ‘an enchanted forest effect’ … The visuals were stunning.”

Children and the Arts Festival Chairwoman Tina Kriebel said the sub-committee is meeting this week to discuss the parade and its future. Right now, however, she said she is basking in the success of the event. “Overwhelmingly people want to do this again,” she said.

“People loved it,” she said. “I’ve gotten comments from people that this is the most beautiful thing they have ever seen in our community and it put a lot of joy in our community.”

Bennington’s Lighted Truck and Tractor Parade

In Bennington Sunday night the annual Christmas tree lighting and Nativity play added a “lighted truck and tractor parade,” drawing about 100 people to the town’s small town common.

“It’s wonderful to see this town come alive like this,” said resident Crystal Hall, who added Bennington is, “Small, but big hearted. … It’s a wonderful little town.”

The Bennington Recreation Committee and Bennington Congregational Church co-sponsor the Bennington holiday celebration, said Bethany Craig, chairwoman of the Bennington Recreation Committee. “For the first two years we had a petting zoo followed by a live Nativity play. This year we added the lighted truck and tractor parade after the play to get more community members involved and add something fun to end the evening,” she said.

Local businesses and Bennington police, fire and highway departments turned out with lighted vehicles for the parade. The light parade topped off the evening and created a friendly competition between participants, many who vowed to out do themselves ne xt year. This is definitely a new tradition for the town, residents said.


Bennington added a light parade to its Christmas tree lighting Sunday night. Staff Photo by Meghan Pierce Bennington added a light parade to its Christmas tree lighting Sunday night. - Staff Photo by Meghan Pierce
Vermont-based international visual artist Gowri Savoor at Peterborough’s first Festival of Light Lantern Parade Saturday night. Savoor taught the community lantern making and helped organize the parade. Photos by Steven Lipofsky, www.Lipofsky.com Vermont-based international visual artist Gowri Savoor at Peterborough’s first Festival of Light Lantern Parade Saturday night. Savoor taught the community lantern making and helped organize the parade. - Photos by Steven Lipofsky, www.Lipofsky.com
Vermont-based international visual artist Gowri Savoor at Peterborough’s first Festival of Light Lantern Parade Saturday night. Savoor taught the community lantern making and helped organize the parade. Photos by Steven Lipofsky, www.Lipofsky.com Vermont-based international visual artist Gowri Savoor at Peterborough’s first Festival of Light Lantern Parade Saturday night. Savoor taught the community lantern making and helped organize the parade. - Photos by Steven Lipofsky, www.Lipofsky.com