A STUNNING parade of lanterns celebrating the treasures of the sea brightened up a wintry Wirral weekend.
Crowds wrapped up warm to enjoy the spectacle of the Out of the Blue parade which brought to a close the borough’s Year of the Coast and Countryside.
The magical evening was a feast for the eyes as visitors were treated to a stream of illuminated fish and other creatures from the deep.
As well as an array of curious wheeled contraptions, the audience was wowed by a glowing giant sea bird that towered over spectators who were not deterred by the chilly weather.
The lantern parade was staged around the Marine Lake, in New Brighton, and was organised by Wirral council in conjunction with The Lantern Company.
The parade started by the sailing centre at Marine Point on Saturday evening and ended with a stunning fiery finale on the Marine Lake.
Earlier, cabinet member for culture, leisure and tourism Cllr Chris Meaden hailed it a fitting end to the Year of Coast and Countryside in Wirral.
She said: “This is a spectacular finale. The Lantern Company have enchanted communities and cities across the UK with their unique blend of illuminated carnival and street theatre.
“I am pleased we have been able to secure funding to bring them to Wirral so that as many people, young and old, can enjoy the parade and all that New Brighton has to offer as we countdown to Christmas.”
The event was supported with 08 Legacy funds secured by Wirral council to attract visitors to the Merseyside area.
Wirral’s Year of Coast and Countryside was staged to showcase the borough as a key tourist attraction in the North West.
The special year has seen a whole host of talks, walks and activities.
Wirral’s visitor economy is worth in the region of £270m and employs more than 4,000 people.
Over the past five years, the sector has grown by 15%.