Illuminate Parade Shone Through Boston

Last week’s Illuminate Parade entranced hundreds of Boston Residents at the town Christmas Light Switch On.

On Thursday 24th November, Transported and Boston Borough Council presented Illuminate 2016, the second inspired and spectacular interpretation of the Mayflower 400 Journey and what brought the Pilgrims to Scotia Creek one dark night in the autumn of 1607.

Illuminate 2016 saw two spectacular lantern-lit processions make their way through to Boston market place. Accordian players David Grey and Daniel Pedler led the parades with live music. The parades culminated in choirs from Wrangle School, Giles Academy and Boston West Academy singing ‘Beyond the Horizon’, the Mayflower song composed by local musician and songwriter Jo Freyer, set in front of stunning light projections onto the parade and St Botolph’s Church.

Birds were used as a motif throughout the 2016 festival, with doves to represent peace and liberty sought by the Pilgrims and swallows to symbolise hope and migration. Media specialist Steven Hatton of Electric Egg was commissioned to create the fantastic projections using animation and video. Artists Ruth Pigott and Jessica Thompson of the Curiosity Creators created two huge bird lanterns in addition to paper birds that were handed out to the audience by children in the parade. The parades were made up of schools and community groups including Boston West Academy, Wyberton School, St Thomas’ School, Boston Explorers and Fishtoft Parish Council who worked with the Curiosity Creators to create their own bird lanterns.

Illuminate 2016 is the second in a series of annual light festivals that will tell the story of the Pilgrims. The festivals will lead up to a huge international celebration in 2020 to commemorate the sailing of the Mayflower, and the arrival of the Pilgrim Fathers in America. For more information about Boston’s connection to the Mayflower story, visit

Transported has found that festivals are a fun, easy way for people to engage in the arts and aims to develop festival skills in the area during its next phase of funding. See for videos and photos from Transported’s previous festivals in Boston Borough and South Holland.

Anna Kingman, Projects Manager for Transported said: “It was a magical evening. We were delighted to work with so many talented artists from the Lincolnshire area to transform the centre of Boston. The school children and community groups did a great job in creating spectacular lanterns, and the singers were in fine voice. We look forward to making next year even more special!