PETERBOROUGH — Students, families, and community members in the ConVal School District recently displayed lanterns to Light Up Monadnock in a modified approach to the Lantern Parade that typically takes place each holiday season.
The Children and the Arts Committee — a community group that works hand-in-hand with ConVal schools — asked families to create decorative lanterns that they could hang outside their houses and share on social media using the hashtag #lightupmonadnock.
In past years, elementary students who have created their lanterns take part in a Lantern Parade in Peterborough that coincides with the lighting of the town’s Christmas tree. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the committee needed to make adjustments to its traditional approach. Their solution was to have students and families display their homemade lanterns at home, and share them with the community on social media.
“This was a tremendous community effort and the outpouring of support for this event was truly heartwarming, especially in a year where we’ve had to forgo or change beloved traditions and celebrations,” Saunders said. “The Children and the Arts Committee did a marvelous job, and I cannot wait to see what they do next year.”
In addition to students’ work, the Children and the Arts Committee also worked to install lanterns created by area artists in Putnam Park. Members of the community were able to stroll through the park at night and admire the installation from Dec. 4-6. The theme for the lanterns was “home sweet home,” and numerous people contributed lanterns made from papier mache, milk cartons, clay and other materials.
The lantern creation process was also a community affair, as community organizer Terry Reeves held lantern-making workshops in her heated garage, and a third grade class collected over 100 milk cartons so another participant could assemble milk carton cottages.
“We greatly appreciate all of the help that ConVal gave the committee with communication, participation and staff who worked with kids to make lanterns this year,” Committee member and ConVal Arts Enrichment Coordinator Jeannie Connelly said. “We couldn’t do it without their enthusiastic participation, and we so appreciate the way so many in our community got involved and made this event memorable.”
Photos from the event can be found by searching #lightupmonadnock on Instagram or by going to the Children and the Arts Committee’s website.