Giant puppets, fire jugglers and stilt walking birds will be in Northampton town centre on Saturday as part of the town’s Diwali celebrations.
The annual event is organised by the Indian Hindu Welfare Organisation (IHWO) and supported by Northampton Borough Council and will include daytime craft activities and stalls in the Market Square and an evening procession throughout the town.
Art and craft activities, including henna painting, saree dressing, dance performances, stalls selling cultural food and exhibitions by local community groups will be available from 10am.
The procession will then start from 6pm at All Saints Church and will be led by the Mayor of Northampton, Les Marriott, alongside MPs and other dignitaries.
Northampton schools including Bridgewater Primary, Cedar Road Academy and Briar Hill Primary will also join the procession holding brightly lit lanterns and waving colourful flags.
From All Saints Church, the procession will lead up Abington Street onto Fish Street, stopping at the Guildhall for a Diva offering and then back to All Saints Church where another Diva offering will be made.
After the offerings, the procession will continue up the Drapery and finish on the Market Square with bhangra music and dance demonstrations.
Councillor Brandon Eldred, Northampton Borough Council cabinet member for community engagement, said: “Diwali is an important event in our town’s calendar.
“We’re delighted to support something that brings together our local communities and schools as we all celebrate this fantastic festival. We hope that everyone will come along on Saturday to enjoy the day time activities in the Market Square as well as the parade in the evening.”
Neelam Aggarwal-Singh MBE, chair of the Indian Hindu Welfare Organisation, said: “I am excited and looking forward to our annual Diwali celebrations, which will bring the people of Northampton together to celebrate this important Hindu Festival of Lights. It’s also fantastic to see so many schools taking part and we look forward to welcoming all children, parents and families to the celebrations.”