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Children’s Lantern Parade to brighten downtown ‘Christmas Magic’

Children will carry lanterns, like those pictured, in the Lantern Parade on Nov. 22 at 5:30 p.m. The City of Madison is organizing the parade. Madison Arts Council is conducting "Build-a-Paper-Lantern" workshops. (RECORD PHOTO/GREGG PARKER)
Children will carry lanterns, like those pictured, in the Lantern Parade on Nov. 22 at 5:30 p.m. The City of Madison is organizing the parade. Madison Arts Council is conducting “Build-a-Paper-Lantern” workshops. (RECORD PHOTO/GREGG PARKER)

MADISON – Children will carry lighted lanterns in the “Lantern Parade,” an addition to “Christmas Magic in Downtown Madison.”

The City of Madison is organizing the parade, which will be held on Nov. 22 at 5:30 p.m.

Children will line up at Clay House at 16 Main St. and march to the Madison Gazebo on Front Street. Following the parade, decorated trees on the Village Green will be lighted for the “Madison Mayor’s 2014 Christmas Tree Decorating Contest.”

Madison Arts Council (MAC) has scheduled lantern workshops to help youngsters make their paper-covered lanterns.

The free “Build-a-Paper-Lantern” workshops are open to 10-year-olds and younger, chairperson Tina Clark said. Workshops will be held at Dublin Park on Oct. 25 at 2:30 p.m. and on Nov. 8 at 2:30 p.m., along with Madison Public Library on Nov. 18 at 4 p.m.

“MAC will provide all materials necessary for the paper lanterns,” Clark said. Battery-operated tea lights will provide ‘flames’ for the lanterns.

The idea for parade began in 2013 with MAC member Beth Ridgeway and city event and volunteer coordinator Gayle Milam.

“I’m so much like my dad when it comes to Christmas,” Milam said. “He always said we celebrate Christmas in honor of the birth of Jesus, but Christmas is for the kids. He was he always like a kid himself.”

“What better way to kick off the ‘Christmas Magic in Downtown Madison’ than having children parade down the streets with their handmade lanterns and finish the evening with the lighting of beautifully and whimsically decorated Christmas trees?” Milam said.

As the city’s event coordinator, Milam enjoys “getting to partner and work with great people, groups and committees that want to bring exciting, family fun to Madison and showcase our city they way we do.”

Other activities for “Christmas Magic in Downtown Madison” are lighting of Christmas Card Lane and Main Street sites on Nov. 28, tour of historic homes on Dec. 6 and the Madison Christmas Parade on Dec. 13.

To register children for the lantern workshops, parents can visit artsmadison.org/lantern-parade.

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