The Illuminate Festival Harwich will take place on Friday 29th November 2019 to commemorate the town’s link to the historic vessel and voyage. An illuminated civic procession will lead the way from Ha’Penny Pier down to Harwich Green, and the public are invited to join the procession too. Gathering from 6pm at the Ha’Penny Pier and by the lit-up LV 18 Lightship the procession will set off on its parade at 6.30pm, and will include a giant puppet lantern of Christopher Jones – captain of The Mayflower – and a lantern of The Mayflower too.
Performers from the Dovercourt Theatre Group will also be there in period costume. Processing along Kings Head Street, led by dignitaries and representatives from local organisations, the parade will pass Captain Jones’ House, which will be illuminated, before continuing on to the Guildhall before reaching Harwich Green. On the Green, community choir Harwich Sing will perform four songs on a theme of light, with a backdrop of the Low and High Lighthouses and the Treadwheel Crane all being illuminated. An Illuminate poem, inspired by a quote from Mayflower Pilgrim William Bradford – “just as one small candle may light a thousand, so the light here kindled hath shone unto many” – will also be read.
Michael Offord, from the Harwich Festival which organises the event on behalf of Tendring District Council (TDC), said he was looking forward to lighting up the town. “Illuminate Festivals take place at Mayflower 400 destinations right across the country and I am excited that once again Harwich will be a part of it,” he said. “I really encourage people to come along and join in the procession or spectate and bring their own lantern – though no naked flames please.”