Oswestry festival comes to a spectacular finale with lanterns and drums

A spectacular lantern procession brought the curtain down in style on the 2023 Love Oswestry Festival.

One of the participants in the lantern parade in Oswestry. Photo: Graham Mitchell
One of the participants in the lantern parade in Oswestry. Photo: Graham Mitchell

The week-long event was held to coincide with the school February half-term with exhibitions, workshops and other events across the town.

It was the second year of the festival, held in conjunction with Oswestry's Heritage Action Zone project.

The lantern parade in Oswestry. Photo: Graham Mitchell

A photographic exhibition at The Qube encouraged photographers to submit pictures under the Love Oswestry theme and the Iron Age Hillfort on the edge of the town was also given some love, with volunteers giving up their time to cut down vegetation encroaching on the ramparts of the historic monument.

Saturday saw a veritable feast of events with the Hermon Chapel venue hosting workshops for singing, budding DJs and drumming.

As darkness fell, scores of people gathered in Festival Square with lanterns they had made at Designs in Mind over previous weekends.

Then, led by Drum Machine the lantern procession snaked through the streets of the town and into Cae Glas Park.

At the front of the drummers leading the beats was Oswestry Mayor Councillor Jay Moore, who is himself a drum teacher.

The lantern parade in Oswestry with Mayor, Councillor Jay Moore. Photo: Graham Mitchell

He said: "I have to say there’s never a dull day in my role! I joined the Love Oswestry music workshops for kids and ended the day leading a parade drumming. My arms definitely ached afterwards!"

Borderland Rotary members helped with the finale of the Love Oswestry Festival, handling traffic control.

Chris Bryan Smith from the club said: "It was a wonderful sight as the parade, led by the mayor, Councillor Jay Moore beating out the rhythm on his drum, wended its way around Cae Glas Park, past the bowling green and out onto Willow Street."

Oswestry Mayor Councillor Jay Moore with Borderland Rotary members

Sam Jones from Love Oswestry, who organised the event, said: “It’s been such hard work but hopefully, totally worth it. We’ve been helped by so many people and organisations. I think the festival is now firmly on the events calendar in Oswestry."

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