Truro's City Of Lights is a celebration of royalty
THOUSANDS are expected to line Truro's city centre for its annual light parade, which this year has a royal theme marking the Queen's jubilee.
Now in its 16th year, City of Lights on Wednesday showcases the work of hundreds of schoolchildren and community groups, as well as local artists who have created giant lanterns on the theme of 'kings and queens'.
More than 170 mammoth lanterns, shaped using willow and tissue, have appeared in the parade since it started in 1995.
It was originally seen as an educational project highlighting Truro's architecture, launched around the time the Hall for Cornwall was being created.
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Since then the event has grown to attract about 15,000 people, with last year's 'wildlife' theme acknowledging 50 years of the Cornwall Wildlife Trust.
Tony Crosby, artistic director of City of Lights, said: "When it was started we realised a new tradition was emerging and we're very conscious that for it to grow and be healthy it was something that needs to be renewed each year.
"The artists are a key part of this. We take the simplest of things – paper, sticks and glue – mix in imagination and have something that really brings people together and creates a unique and special time for Truro."
The artists set themselves the task of ensuring the lanterns interact with the audience while exploring new lighting methods.
The weather can also pose its own challenges: "The year we chose 'flying' was particularly memorable as the lanterns don't weigh much and it was a very windy night," Mr Crosby said.
This year's parade starts at 7pm in Moresk Road and runs along Boscawen Street, St Clement Street, Union Street and Castle Street, with music from samba and steel bands at Boscawen Street and Lemon Quay, where it finishes at 8pm.
To donate, text COLT12 and enter the amount to 70070 or visit www.trurocityoflights.com