THE Cardigan Giant Lantern Parade is poised to make a welcome return to the town next month after a public fund-raising campaign achieved a £2,000 target towards costs.

Following a three-year hiatus caused by Covid, preparations are well underway for a spectacular Fantastical Beasts-themed procession at 7pm on Friday, December 8.

And the artists of Small World Theatre have been running a series of public lantern-making workshops throughout this month.

Among the enthusiastic participants was county councillor Clive Davies, who said he hoped the parade would re-establish itself as an annual event.

“There are literally hundreds of lanterns in storage ready for the big event,” he told the Tivyside. “There will be all kinds, themed around Fantastical Beasts.

“The lantern procession will take place from the top of Pendre to Castell Aberteifi.

“There spectators will get to see some of the Fantastical Beasts up-close as well as a short fireworks display.

“This event – which started when I was Mayor back in 2016-17 – attracted huge crowds in the past, so let’s hope for dry weather this year and a similar amount of support this time round.”

Now in its fifth year, Cardigan Giant Lantern Parade is supported by Cardigan Town Council, Ceredigion County Council and Leafed Through community bookshop.

Small World Theatre Director Ann Shrosbree revealed that a fundraising campaign launched in October to address the shortfall has achieved its £2,000 objective.

“Every donation helps keep this event free to the public and we’re incredibly grateful to those who’ve added to the pot,” she said.

“This year visitors can expect to see giants old and new. There will be some favourites like the Circus Elephant (last seen in the Eisteddfod in Tregaron 2022) and some new creatures made by Small World Theatre and Space to Create artists.

“They will lead the merriment, accompanied by local musicians, into the grounds of Cardigan Castle where lanterns galore will gather in a stunning display with fire jugglers.

“Delicious locally-sourced hot food and drink will be supplied by Kitchen 1176 and Cardigan Town Traders will be collecting for the spectacular fireworks display starting around 8pm.”

In 2019 – the last time the event was held – the parade drew 13,500 people into Cardigan. This year organisers say they will be offering families the chance to be part of ‘an inclusive, exciting event that brings people together’.

“In 2020 we launched our first local-giving fundraiser to support working with families, providing creative workshops and play for young people who were affected by the pandemic,” said a Small World Theatre spokesperson.

“We are obviously very grateful for the support shown for our second fundraiser which has helped to restore Cardigan’s spectacular Giant Lantern Parade to the town.”