Join in Gainsborough’s Illuminate by making your own candle lantern

by | 8 October 2021 | Community Event, Gainsborough, Heritage

This November will see the final spectacular Mayflower 400 event in Gainsborough, closing the 400th anniversary commemorations marking the town’s connections to Pilgrims’ heritage.
The Mayflower’s historic voyage began in Plymouth in 1620, and many leading Separatists on the ship (who later became known as the Pilgrims) came from the Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire region.
2021 marks the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims’ first Thanksgiving in America. This year’s Illuminate takes on the Thanksgiving theme in Gainsborough’s own way, as residents are invited to think about what they give thanks for and commemorate a shared heritage which connects the town to communities across the region and the world.
This year’s event takes place on the evening of Saturday 13th November at Gainsborough Old Hall and All Saints’ Parish Church and will include fantastic displays of flags inspired by artwork from local schools, performers, a digital projection on the walls of the Hall, a self-led Pilgrim Survival arts trail, a fire garden and the first performance of a newly commissioned choral work.
Building on the success of last year’s online Illuminate, there’s also a chance to take part in Illuminate online on Thursday 25th November, by sharing photos on social media of a light or LED candle in your window at home. What will you give thanks for?
How to take part
An online toolkit of ideas for how to make your own candle lantern at home is available on the Discover Gainsborough website.
Specially designed paper candle making kits are available free for groups and schools so families and pupils can make their own candle and hide a message inside about what they give thanks for – just email to find out more. Individuals can also get a free kit; see the Discover Gainsborough website for details of where you can pick one up.
Take your candle or lantern along with you to see the Illuminate activities on 13th November and / or share a photo of it online on 25th November (Thanksgiving date) using the hashtag #OneSmallCandle on social media – see what others have made too!
Gainsborough’s Illuminate is part of the £100,000 Arts Council England-funded Mayflower 400 cultural programme for the town. For more information on the Mayflower story and illuminate, visit or search for Discover Gainsborough on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.