Illuminate 2021 – Light and Hope

Nov 25

Start Thursday
25-11-2021, 04:00pm

End Thursday
25-11-2021, 09:00pm

‘Where will you be when the lights are switched on’?
Boston Christmas Market and Light Switch On will be held on Thursday 25th November from noon to 8pm. This is one of the town’s largest and well attended events of the year and this year, through a reimagined approach in response to Covid19, we hope that visitors and traders, local retailers and hospitality venues will find the 2021 event as enjoyable and successful as always.

Transported lanterns


The theme will reflect ‘Light and Hope’; and rather than the Illuminate Parade, which has become a regular feature in response to the town’s historic links with the Pilgrims, Transported will share trails in the form of pop up entertainment throughout the day, alongside other street performers, and the Fire Garden with stunning sculptures.

Each year on Thanksgiving Day, Transported light up the streets of Boston with a spectacular parade procession, illuminated by lanterns made by local schools and residents in order to celebrate Boston’s connection to the Pilgrim story. This year, on the 400th anniversary of the very first Thanksgiving Celebration we will illuminate Boston once again with your help to create a lantern trail in the town!

Boston Borough Council and Transported would like to invite businesses and residents of Boston to share their hope, gratitude and reflection on Thursday 25th November in the creation of lanterns, in celebration of the 400th anniversary of the first Thanksgiving, and to spread hope, thanks and positivity through the town.

The lanterns will be exhibited in clusters around the town, creating a trail to be explored and discovered by families and friends.

Transported’s activities on the 25th: 

  • A beautiful ‘Light and Hope’ lantern trail across Boston Town Centre between 4pm and 9pm
  • A spectacular Fire Garden; Boston Blossoms with amazing fire sculptures by JRH Services and his fantastic team of fire gardeners
  • Mesmerising aerial dance (which can be found at the Fire Garden)
  • Helter Skelter arts providing bubbles and stilt walkers – come get your picture taken! 
  • Ashlee with his LED fire dance
  • Chris Lewis-Jones creating frottage pencil rubbing art on Boston’s textural beauty (daytime until 16:30)
  • Fen Funk Samba Band (16:30-17:00 then again in the fire garden between 17:30 to 19:30)
  • Serena, a beautiful fiddle player providing live music
  • A drummer using dustbin lids as instruments
  • Bagpipe player

Come find the beautiful lanterns

You can make your own lantern! Download our template here and follow the instructions so it can be included in the trail. Or pop in your own window and share a picture of it with us using the hashtag #onesmallcandle.

Live music from fiddle player Serena

In addition to the town’s local retail and hospitality offer, there will be Christmas themed stalls in the Market Place and along Wide Bargate, accompanied by a selection of food and drink stands and small children’s rides and fun stalls to entertain. Hear Christmas music in the background as the sights and smells of Christmas come alive…

St Botolph’s Church will be the setting for choir and singing groups to perform, including Sarah Jayne, school choirs and Grantham Rock Choir along with self led craft activities, face painting from 4pm – 7pm, cafe, toilets, giant games and the start and end of the Boston Elf Trail.

Stiltwalkers and bubbles

Discover up to 40 elves playing the Elf on The Shelf game, along Dolphin Lane, Pump Square, Emery Lane and Petticoat Lane… name ten and receive your complimentary sweet treat at St Botolph’s Church. Follow the elves around the town as you start your Christmas shopping!

Pescod Square have their own surprise this year for shoppers…, with a selection of high street shops and cafés, and Father Christmas’s Grotto! Visit Santa between 4pm – 8pm where all monies raised will go to support Blackfriars Theatre and Art Centre.

Fire Garden

‘They’re behind you’! Quite literally!! With festive fun! Tony Peers Productions are supporting this year’s Christmas Panto at Blackfriars with Dick Whittington and his Wonderful Cat showing from Saturday 11th December – with Pantomime Characters joining us during the Christmas Market – you never know who you may pass as you explore the town.
Please be aware that the event will follow the government guidance and the advice around Covid. We ask that social distancing is still followed by all attending to support and respect each other throughout the event. If you show any symptoms please stay at home and book your free PCR test in line with the NHS Guidance.

Fen Funk Samba Band


Transported is a strategic, community-focused programme which aims to get more people in Boston Borough and South Holland enjoying and participating in arts activities.  The programme is overseen by the Centre of Culture and Creativity at the University of Lincoln, and is funded by the Creative People and Places fund from Arts Council England.

Find out more