The Northampton Diwali Festival of Lights is set to take place on Saturday 4th November in the town centre, with a colourful array of stalls and entertainment starting at 10am.
This annual community festival, organised by Northampton Indian Hindu Welfare Organisation and supported by Northampton Town Council, Northampton Town Centre BID and West Northamptonshire Council, is now in its 23rd year.
Visitors can enjoy cultural activities such as henna painting and saree dressing, while browsing various community stalls and enjoying Indian food and drink on St Giles’ Square and Guildhall Road.
Live entertainment is set to take place on a stage from 1pm and at 6pm, a magical light parade will begin from The Ridings and follow a route along St Giles’ Terrace, onto St Giles’ St, continuing down Hazelwood Road, and back along Derngate, where it will end close to the Guildhall.
Harminder the elephant and Shanti the giant bird are among the large-scale puppets made and operated by outdoor arts specialists Festive Road, which form this twinkling parade of Hindu Deities, to be joined by local school children and community groups.
Neelam Aggarwal-Singh, Chair of the Northampton IHWO said: “The winter festival of Diwali lights gets bigger and better every year and it’s wonderful to see so many partners coming together to make it such a great experience for everyone.
“I am looking forward to welcoming visitors to this magical event and joining the popular Diwali lights parade, which will light up the streets of Northampton town centre. There will be activities throughout the day, and people can really immerse themselves in this enchanting cultural experience.
“I would also like to thank Lidl for their kind donation of free gift bags, which they are giving to our performers and also to people visiting their stall.”
The packed stage programme, which runs until 8pm, includes choirs, Bollywood, Bhangra and Bharatanatyam dancers, music from Inspiration FM DJ Mark Dean, Dhol drummers and musical performances, along with presentations and speeches from local dignitaries.
Stalls confirmed to date are Saanvi Foods, Turtle Bay Northampton, Butt savouries, Wow waffles UK, Desi Raj, Craft and Skewers, Aurora Jewels, Jagruti’s Arts & Crafts, University of Northampton, Northampton Town Council, Metro Bank, Northants Police and Lidl supermarket, who will give gift bags to the first 500 visitors to their stall.
Cllr Jane Birch, Chair of the Community Services Committee at Northampton Town Council, said: “We are so proud to support the IHWO with this significant and popular festival, which is returning for its 23rd year in the town.
“We would encourage everyone to come and enjoy the spectacular parade as well as the many stalls, busy throughout the day, which celebrate our vibrant multicultural community.”
For more information about the event, visit the Diwali 23rd Winter Festival of Lights Facebook page or Northampton Town Council’s website.
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