Bournemouth’s summertime Candlelight Procession celebrates an age-old tradition which began in 1896 when Princess Eugenie of France visited the town to be greeted by a beautiful candlelit walkway lighting her way all through the resort.
The event today has become a candlelit walk through the town’s colourful Lower Gardens along to Pier Approach to which the whole community can contribute and enjoy.
Visitors and residents alike are welcome to come down any time from 7pm, collect a free taper and light their choice of lantern in the many decorative displays representing animals, cartoon characters, destinations and iconic symbols dotted around the Gardens. The result is a magical candle-lit kingdom, a tableau of colour and a shared sense of collaboration and community.
The procession then follows at 8:45pm. Volunteers taking part are provided with procession torches and hanging lanterns and invited to walk with ‘Empress Elizabeth’ down to the seafront, where their lanterns form part of a special finale.
The first Candlelight Procession of 2017 (previously known as Candlelight Nights) on 2 August marked the start of a month of events where every Wednesday (9th, 16th and 23rd) people of all ages were welcome to come down at dusk and relight the displays. The procession lasts around 20 minutes and was repeated every week of the event during the summer holidays.