Make this the Biggest Torch Procession | Winter Droving
Last Saturday saw the start of the Droving festivities in Pooley Bridge with over two thousand people showing up to Welcome the Wolf at the Ullswater Droving. This event preceded Penrith’s signature event, the Winter Droving, which will take place this Saturday 28th October with the ambition to make it the biggest the town has ever seen.
People are urged to sign up to carry a torch and be part of the magical torch lit procession. This is a unique opportunity to form part of this age-old spectacle reputed to have begun in the time of Ragnar Lothbrook. Lanterns, performers and hundreds of members of the public weave their way through the streets as dusk arrives, with thousands lining the street to welcome them. Previous processions have seen over eight thousand people lining the streets to watch while this charming market town turns into the centre of the celebrations and welcoming in the darker half of the year. In Penrith they turn their clocks back 400 years.
Event manager Lakota Kendal said, “we have got plenty of torches available for those who wish to carry them, over 16s only please. The masked procession is a highlight of the day and we welcome all”.
Individuals, families and groups are asked to sign up before the event or visit the Winter Droving Information Stall located next to the Penrith Clock Tower to claim their space in the procession. A £2 contribution is asked for those carrying a fire torch. Children can also participate by becoming a procession animal - donning their animal mask and wending their way through the streets of Penrith.
The feedback from those that attended the Pooley Bridge Ullswater Droving on Saturday 21st October has been universally positive. It was a feast for the ears and eyes them as Spark! arrived by boat provided by the Ullswater Steamers. The hugely popular LED lit drummers made their way from Pooley Bridge Pier into the village followed by mask wearers, the Droving Wolf lantern, and hundreds of people carrying geolights rehearsed by Salford’s internationally renowned outdoor arts specialists Walk The Plank. These Lumenators, the name given the the participants carrying the lights, continued on to to create a huge light performance filmed by drone, the footage of which will be released soon.
Adrian Lochhead, director of Eden Arts who create the Drovings, said ‘we knew Spark! were good but this event really showed us how good. The interaction with the crowd was fantastic and seeing the public follow along really made the Ullswater Droving procession a spectacle to behold. The best bit is that we get to do it all again this Saturday but with more performers, more lanterns and most importantly more people! Those that have taken part before have told us how special it is to be part of, so get signed up now’.
The Winter Droving will take place in Penrith this Saturday 28th October with a line up of street performers, bands, a fun fair and huge market made up of hot food, gifts and charity stalls. These charity stalls will offer an array of activities to get involved including mask making from A Wilderness Way. The market and funfair will be open from 11am, followed by all the other shenanigans from midday.
Find out more here https://www.edenarts.co.uk/projects/winter-droving-2023
Sign up to carry a torch here https://bit.ly/WDprocessionregistration