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The River of Light is Waterbury’s Community Lantern Procession.  In December 2010, artists Gowri Savoor and Angelo Arnold worked with school art teacher MK Monley and the pupils of Thatcher Brook Primary School in Waterbury, VT to create over 150 willow and tissue paper lanterns for our inaugural event. Spectators of all ages lined the parade route in support of the parade which was led by Burlington’s street Samba band, Sambatucada. The procession was also joined by artists from Central Vermont, who created larger-scale lanterns during a special one-day workshop. And of course none of this would have been possible without our crew of hard-working volunteers.

In 2011, our small community parade began to grow. We extended our school workshops to include Crossett Brook Middle School as well as Thatcher Brook Primary School. The artists’ workshop proved to be so popular that we hosted an intensive 2-day event, which was attended by artists from across the region. We held satellite community workshops in Stowe and Waterbury and on December 3rd, Main Street closed its doors to traffic for a few minutes of magic.

The River of Light 2013

Please show your support from the sidelines or bring your own lanterns and join the parade for an enchanting evening of music, light and community spirit. If you are interested in attending one of our free lantern-making workshops, volunteering your services on parade night or just learning more about the event, please get in touch through the contact page.

And if you are interested in learning more about some of the many people that make the River of Light such a memorable event, please check out our bios below.

MK Monley

Retired Art Teacher (2021)


Co-Coordinator RoL since 2010

In June of 2021, I retired from my art teaching positions at Thatcher Brook Primary School where I had been teaching since 2001. I love to involve my students in community based art projects so when Gowri Savoor asked me about putting on a lantern parade, I said yes! Since 2010, A River of Light in Waterbury has been going strong!

What I love about the lantern parade is the joy I see on my students' faces when they become a part of this community centered event - students continue to be excited year after year. There's a buzz in the community when lantern parade season comes around each year. Everyone is excited!

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