Illuminate organisers defend festival, say it will show town ‘is part of the Mayflower story’

The Illuminate festival. EMN-170630-134738001
The Illuminate festival. EMN-170630-134738001

‘Boston is a part of the whole story’, the organisers of an event celebrating the sailing of the Mayflower to America, have told councillors.

Transported Art has organised a series of events under the banner title of ’Pilgrim Roots’ as part of Mayflower 2020, a massive international celebration celebrating 400 years since the famous ship set sail.

The group approached Boston Town Area Committee for a £5,000 grant on Wednesday, where they were asked by Coun Brian Rush about what is often seen as a tenuous connection – the capture and holding of a small group of men, women and children who planned to live in Holland to live in religious freedom 13 years prior to the journey to America.

It is considered the first attempt to find religious freedom from the authority of the English Church and is thought several of those later returned home before leaving for the New World.

Nick Jones, from Transported, said the group wanted to set up celebrations for that event as well.

He said: “It’s not just the end of the story that’s important. We feel passionate that the most important thing is where people came from, what motivated them and what role they played.”

He said it was hoped that by taking part in Mayflower 400 it would raise the profile of the town.

“We are part of the whole story and we will try our best to be clear and explicit about that.”

The Illuminate event takes place on November 23 and will tie-in with the Christmas lights switch on.

It will involve a lantern parade through the town and performances by local school children.

The group are also looking at hiring a professional company, which they describe as ‘the best’ to organise a projection on to the Stump.

Councillors agreed to match fund the £5,000 on the proviso that Transported receive the same amount of money from a bid to Boston Big Local.

For more on Mayflower 2020, and Boston’s part visit www.mayflower400uk.org