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Lighting Stokey with Stars this winter

Star lanterns made by traders and the community will light up Stoke Newington this winter.

Primary school children, traders and the public are invited to attend a series of workshops with Output Arts to learn how to make lanterns from willow and tissue paper.

The ‘Constellations’ initiative by Stoke Newington Business Association is aiming to create new community connections and celebrate the strong bond between traders. The idea was inspired by the annual big star installation at the Old Church.

Heidi Early, co-chairman of SNBA, said: “The lanterns we’re making are formed of interconnecting willow – they symbolise the connections we have as a community and, by making them ourselves and inviting the public to join us, beautiful new friendships are being formed.

“The end result will be a trail of illuminated lanterns that runs all the way from The Old Church in Church St to St Paul’s Church on the High St. On Saturday December 3 Stoke Newington Church St will be closed to traffic for a short time and children will join a procession, accompanied by a band, carrying the lanterns they’ve made and lighting the night sky.”

There’ll also be carols, a Christmas lights switch on attended by the Mayor of Hackney and treats from local businesses.

Artists Andy D’Cruz and Jonathan Hogg of Output Arts will be visiting seven local schools over the coming months to lead two two-hour lantern-making workshops, predominantly with eight and nine-year-olds.

And the public is invited to attend two drop-in free workshop to make stars to hang in their own windows. To join, head along to The Old Church on Church St on November 19 (1pm-5pm) or St Paul's Church on Stoke Newington High St on November 26 (1pm-5pm). Places are limited (first-come-first-served and children must be accompanied. You'll need to stay for at least an hour if you'd like to bring home a finished lantern.

The event has been made possible thanks to funding from Hackney Council’s High Streets and Town Centres Fund.


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