Our first annual River of Light Lantern Parade was held in December of 2010 in collaboration with Thatcher Brook Primary School art teacher, MK Monley, and lantern artists Gowri Savoor and Angelo Arnold. This collaboration lasted 7 years before Gowri and Angelo moved on to new adventures. When MakerSphere emerged as a community arts organization in 2018, it seemed apt for them to be the lead organization and fiscal agent for this community event. With veteran lantern makers Mame McKee, Sarah Lee Terrat, and MK Monley on the board of MakerSphere, the transition was seamless. MK retired from teaching in 2021 and MakerSphere partnered with primary school art teacher, Rachael Wells, to continue the tradition of making lanterns with all of the students at Brookside Primary School (formerly, Thatcher Brook Primary School).
Burlington's street Samba band, Sambatucada, has led the procession from the start and are often joined by Burlington's Brass Balagan. The Waterbury Recreation Department has played a key role in providing a venue for fire spinners - Cirque de Fuego, and providing hot chocolate and bon fires at the park. A whole host of volunteers throughout our community continue to make this event possible.
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.
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!