This year’s First Light Festival opens with a Welcome to Lowestoft Opening Parade on Saturday 17 June, which features two giant puppets, music and performances, and a walking procession of community groups.
On this page you’ll find out the story behind the parade, as well as when and where you can watch it, and how you can join in before the big day!
The parade is part of Hi! Street Fest, an exciting nation-wide project with Emergency Exit Arts in partnership with Historic England that celebrates the resilience of the high street across 6 English towns.
How and When to Watch the Parade
The Parade starts from Marina Theatre on Saturday 17 June at 10:45, and winds down London Road North over the bridge, past East Point Pavilion, down the seafront promenade and onto the beach where it will open the festival’s main Sunlight Stage at 12:00.
You’ll be able to watch the parade anywhere along the route, but we recommend finding a spot somewhere between East Point Pavilion and Claremont Pier.
Farrah & Sol: The Parade Story
This summer, a curious fox called Farrah will visit Lowestoft in the first part of a journey across the country to explore and celebrate local places, as well as the people who love and look after them. Standing over 5 metres high (that’s taller than a double decker bus!), Farrah and her troupe of urban animal friends will parade through the town and down to the seafront, where they’ll meet Sol, Lowestoft’s host puppet.
Sol represents the Spirit of the Sea, who rides onto South Beach on a midsummer tide with her gang of sea spirits and underwater creatures. Draped in a net gown and with a rising sun crown, Sol is an ambassador for the rich, varied marine life that lives in the deep waters of Lowestoft.
Together with community group and performers, our two heroes will exchange gifts of music, dance and art, as we celebrate the meeting of land and sea, and the resilient, brilliant town we live in.
How to Get Involved
There are still loads of ways you, your family, business or community group can join in the fun.
-We have a series of free family workshops at East Point Pavilion in the run up to the parade – see below for the full line-up!
– Join Marina Theatre’s new samba band, who will be making their debut at the parade – find out more here.
-If your community group would like to walk in the parade, please email Jen at firstname.lastname@example.org
– Your business can dress your shopfronts in blues and greens – email email@example.com if you’d like to find out more.
-We’re looking for volunteers to help with the parade and across our festival weekend. If that’s of interest, find out more here.
The parade route from Marina Theatre to Claremont Pier is entirely step-free and wheelchair accessible. From Claremont Pier, the parade goes down a short but fairly steep slope onto the lower seafront promenade (Jubilee Parade), where it continues along flat paving until the new Eastern Edge Beach Huts. From the huts, the final section of the parade route goes across the sand of South Beach. While this section is not wheelchair or buggy accessible, the parade will be visible from Jubilee Parade, and there is an accessible viewing platform next to the main Sunlight Stage where the ending of the parade can be viewed from.
If you have accessibility questions, please email Robbie at firstname.lastname@example.org
About Hi! Street Fest
Our Opening Parade is part of Hi! Street Fest, a nation-wide project from Emergency Exit Arts in partnership with Historic England that celebrates high streets up and down the country.