Coming up right now, 1st November.
We love a good do here in Liverpool. And if it comes with costumes and fireworks even better. Yesterday when I was in town people were queuing up outside the fancy dress shop in Bold Street. While across the road in Oxfam I had to struggle to reach the LP racks through crowds of shrieking people trying on wigs, wedding dresses and anything else fancy or scary they could get their hands on.
It’s Halloween and as anyone here will tell you that’s now ‘bigger than bommy night.’
But in all the excitement of whatever you’re doing on the actual Friday night of Halloween, don’t forget that your costumes can get a second run-out at Liverpool’s own Day of the Dead celebration the following night. Because Saturday is this year’s Liverpool Lantern Carnival.
This began as a fairly small event, maybe ten years ago now. But has caught the Liverpool public’s imagination and grown into one of the largest community based events in our calendar. People from all over the city spending weeks beforehand making new lanterns for this year’s Carnival.
At the heart of it all is Liverpool’s Lantern Company, the artists who hold it all together, bring their own giant creations to the event and come up with a different and spectacular story each year to frighten and intrigue us all, knowing though that it will end in an almighty fire and exploding fireworks will fill the night sky over Sefton Park.
Even hardened cynics (yes, me) have been known to stand there at the end of it all some years and say:
“You know? I think that was the best ever use of a Liverpool Public Park during the hours of darkness.”
Here’s how it all looks.
Then the Lanterns Parade will begin.
And the end is always silence. The silence of wonder. Before the growing applause, for another year’s story.
See you there? With your skin on – and your halloween costumes?
Today, on the late afternoon of Halloween I walked over to the park to see what preparations are being made for tomorrow night.
So with considerable confidence I’m predicting four big fires.
And what eerie scary music is being used to test the equipment out? Well, Fleetwood Mac. But not the ‘Green Manalishi’ version of the band, sadly.
I’d say ‘See you there’ but I probably won’t. It’ll be dark.