Lanterns out for winter solstice event with parade through downtown

Published 12:03 am Friday, December 23, 2022

SALISBURY — The winter solstice has been celebrated around the world for thousands of years marking the shortest day and longest night.

Community members turned out for a parade from Waterworks Visual Arts Center to Bell Tower Green on Wednesday. Lantern-making workshops started back in mid-September.

Rowan-Salisbury elementary through high school art instructors attended Waterworks’ first workshop led by Jackie Black, Waterworks’ education coordinator. Teachers explored the different types of lantern making and designed/constructed their own. Some teachers facilitated a lantern workshop with their own students.  Black also led workshops with Afterschool Arts Enrichment students and seventh and eighth graders from Salisbury Academy.

Art students from Carson High School created a variety of lanterns, even donating some to share for the parade. The museum’s Second Saturday workshop offered instruction for families and friends to create lanterns.

“Adults and youth have been very creative,” said Anne Scott Clement, the arts center’s director. “Everyone will delight in seeing the variety of creative lanterns—some traditional, others decorated with cultural and contemporary designs and symbols. We also have an assortment of sizes and shapes, from seasonal favorites, small geometrics and animals, to a seven-foot whale!”

The night’s theme, “I AM: a light in the dark,” was inspired by the museum’s current exhibition, “I AM: Identity. Stories. Connections.” The solstice lanterns were meant to represent the light that lives and burns within us even through the deepest, darkest night. More than 70 people attended the event, according to Clement.

Entertainment was provided by magician Glen Yost and musician Alex Day, the music teacher at West Rowan Middle School. The Winter Solstice Lantern Walk was sponsored in part by The Margaret C. Woodson Foundation.