“Phantasmic Creatures of Earthly Delight.” That’s the theme and title of this year’s Halloween Lantern Parade in Patterson Park, which combines elements of the supernatural with the natural.
“It’s celebrating the animals in the park, and the fact that it’s a shared space between humans and animals,” says Laure Drogoul, who is serving her second year as artistic director for the dozen-year-old Lantern Parade.
The animals are the “phantasmic creatures,” and the park is the “earthly delight.”
Families and individuals have been making their lanterns for weeks now, using as many recycled materials, especially plastic water bottles, as possible.
“There’s this kind of green quality to it that’s tying really well into the park,” notes Drogoul.
There’s also an element of shape-shifting to the theme—as Daphne became a tree, Bruce Wayne became Batman, or a caterpillar emerges from a cocoon a butterfly.
Each lantern-maker, says Drogoul, “basically shape-shifted the plastic bottle into an animal.”
This year, the Parade Marshals are animals, too. Their squirrel costumes illuminate at the head and tail, making a clear beacon for all to follow.
The Lantern Parade, which is presented in collaboration by the Creative Alliance, Friends of Patterson Park and the Southeast Community Development Corp., kicks off on Saturday, Oct. 27, (rain date of Oct. 28) with a festival at 3:30 p.m. There will be food trucks, bands, people walking around on stilts, and an opportunity for procrastinators to build their lanterns. It happens at the Patterson Park Pulaski Monument, at the intersection on Linwood and Eastern Avenues.
Parade line-up is at 7 p.m., and at 7:30, marchers proceed from the tennis courts, around the Pulaski Monument, past the Boat Lake, past the Casino, and around the pool.
Expect to be exposed to the work of lots of local artists. Drogoul said that in addition to participating in the parade itself with special floats, artists would be making projections and bringing the ice rink alive with animation. Plus, there are great bands, such as the Barrage Band Orchestra, Raya Brass Band, and the Citywide Marching Band and many more. Participating artists include Emily CD, Dominique Zeltzman, Steve Koellmer, Dan Van Allen, Fluid Movement, and many more.
Doors open for an after party at the Patterson Theater at 8:30 p.m. Visit www.creativealliance.org for more information.
by Erik Zygmont