In 2015, Hillsborough sculptor Tinka Jordy, the mastermind behind the wonderfully unique Hillsborough Handmade Parade, presented the idea for a lantern walk to the Hillsborough Arts Council (HAC). They decided to give it a go; they hosted a lantern-making workshop for the community and spread the word to meet at Hillsborough Riverwalk where they would parade along the river with their handmade lanterns. What they didn’t expect was a turn-out of almost 2,000 people, bundled up with their families, ready to walk the Riverwalk with their illuminated creations.
The Solstice Celebration Lantern Walk returns this year, taking place on Sunday, December 18 at 5:30pm along the Riverwalk in Hillsborough. The only requirement to participate is that you bring a white lantern (no open flames) and that you register. Store-bought lanterns are fine, but handmade lanterns are encouraged. The lantern-making workshop is already sold out, but fear not—the HAC has posted a slew of videos on their website to show you how to make your own lantern.
Our hats are off to Tinka and the team at HAC for creating some of the most unique community events in the region. In addition to the Lantern Walk and Handmade Parade, the HAC is responsible for the Last Friday ArtWalk, a Parlor Concert Series, and the operation of their gallery in Downtown Hillsborough. With only one part-time employee, a dedicated Board of Directors and team of volunteers, the services this organization offers for the community are truly astounding. Be sure to remember this when making your year-end charitable gifts this year; imagine the possibilities with more resources and community support (hint, hint). The HAC is a perfect example of the impact arts organizations have on our community above and beyond supporting the arts. They can serve as an economic driver by bringing people from near and far into Hillsborough for their events. The lantern walk is just one example of the bright future for HAC, and we can’t wait to see what they come up with next.