Dec 20 2012 by Hannah Bewley, Harrow Observer
CREATIVE lantern-makers turned a town into a festive wonderland and lit up pop-up shops.
A lantern parade took place just as the sun was setting on Saturday through Willesden High Road, starting and finishing at Electric House, Willesden Lane, which is hosting work from local artists and gives traders advice on dressing their windows.
The parade was part of the Windows on Willesden project, coordinated by Meanwhile Space community interest company.
People were also invited to take part in a lantern-making workshop at the Library Lab, Willesden Library, and mulled wine was served at The Queensbury Pub.
Jessica Courtney Bennett, of Meanwhile Space, said: “It was amazing, there was a really nice atmosphere, people were beeping their horns and singing We Wish You a Merry Christmas as we walked down the street. It was a good opportunity for people to meet others they wouldn’t normally talk to and to talk about Willesden. It also encouraged people to do their Christmas shopping in the area.”
The scheme as a whole, which has 13 pop-up shops in Queens Parade, won the 2012 Regeneration and Renewal award for boosting the high street.
Entrepreneurs have been given empty shops for low rent and turned them into viable businesses.
Shop owners created window displays to encourage shoppers back into the area and there is a competition to find the most impressive Christmas display. You can vote for your favourite at Electric House.