Waterbury’s 10th River of Light parade takes place Saturday, December 7. This year’s theme is “REinventions! What will you REmake? Something REmarkable!” Organizers have worked with schoolchildren in art classes as well as community members and artists in lantern workshops to create the paper and willow lanterns to illuminate the parade.
Music provides the beat for the parade. Burlington’s Afro-Brazilian marching band Sambatucada returns again this year along with the Crossett Brook Middle School junk band and drummers. The parade steps off at 5 p.m. from Thatcher Brook Primary School and proceeds to Main Street and then Dac Rowe Field near the roundabout for bonfires, hot chocolate and a presentation by fire performance troupe Cirque de Fuego from Jericho.
Thatcher Brook students have made lanterns in art classes led by parade co-coordinator and school art teacher MK Monley. In keeping with this year’s theme to include recycled materials, student lanterns used empty milk jugs and soft drink bottles, Monley said.
Visitors are invited to bring a lantern or other illuminated object and join in the parade or just watch. Parade organizers will have LED lights for sale in the school gym before the parade; replacement batteries will be available to anyone using a light they already have.
The hot chocolate refreshment stand is powered by the cafe and Waterbury Parks and Recreation with help from Waterbury Area Senior Center and National Honor Society students from Harwood. Norwich University cadets volunteer as parade stewards, helping with parking, street closures and fire safety. For more information and any last-minute updates, especially in the event of inclement weather, visit the River of Light website: www.ariveroflightinwaterbury.org.