Basingstoke’s first flashmob dance will take to the streets during a spectacular lantern-lit parade as the popular Day of the Dead returns to Top of the Town next month.
The family-friendly festivities on Friday 27 October will feature sugar skulls, Mariachi musicians, fire-breathers and illusionists, culminating in the colourful parade with a giant illuminated spider and the flashmob dance.
Starting from Wote Street at 6.30pm, members of local dance schools will take part in the flashmob performance in Market Place.
Residents and visitors are invited to join in too – find out more from the Proteus Theatre Company Facebook page or www.proteustheatre.com/DOTD
The Day of the Dead action, inspired by the traditional Mexican festival known as Dia de los Muertos, celebrates local ancestry, culture and diversity. It will take place in the Top of the Town from midday to 9pm and offers plenty of fun for everybody, with art and craft activities and delicious ethnic street food to tempt the tastebuds.
It’s the third year that the event will be held in Basingstoke’s cultural heartland, and the Willis Museum will form the hub of the event, with a spectacular interactive screen. Street entertainment will include face-painting and lantern-making.
The Day of the Dead is organised by Proteus on behalf of Basingstoke Together and Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council. Acclaimed company Copperdollar is working in collaboration with Proteus to create the artistic direction, and Scratchbuilt Productions will also be working on the project to deliver the giant spider for the parade.
The spider, whose legs will come apart during the parade, will be built by local children during half-term workshops at Proteus Creation Space, Basingstoke. For more information and to join in, please contact Proteus on 01256 354541 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
The council’s Deputy Leader Cllr Terri Reid, who leads on the Town Centre Programme, said: “The return of the town’s popular Day of the Dead event promises to be even more fun this year.
“The event brings the whole community together and showcases the talents and enthusiasm of those involved in our local arts.
“I hope as many people as possible will get involved in these fantastic celebrations - there will be music, dance, colour and creativity in abundance for people of all ages to enjoy. And don’t forget to join in with the flashmob dance!”
David Rushbrook, Chair of Basingstoke Together, said: Basingstoke Together are pleased to support this community event, which takes place in Basingstoke’s historic heart at the Top of Town. Businesses across the town centre are encouraging visitors to dress up for the occasion, with some offering discounts for those visitors in costume. We also hope that the night-time economy will benefit from the increased footfall on that evening.
Mary Swan, Chief Executive at Proteus Theatre Company, said: “Day of the Dead is a totally unique event and has been embraced and shaped over the past three years by the people of Basingstoke.
“Last year we saw a number of people coming for the parade in their own costumes and we’d love everyone to get involved like that this year – we’ll have DJs playing in Market Place until 9pm so everyone can party after the parade!
“It’s all about celebrating those we’ve lost and embracing the life we have – what could be better?”
For more information, visit www.topofthetown.org or follow the Top of the Town on Facebook at TheTopOfTheTownBasingstoke or on Twitter @TotTBasingstoke