The annual Autumn Carnival is an award winning event (South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Awards- Community category). We have joined forces for the past 7 years with Sharrow Community Forum, South Yorkshire Police, local schools and community groups to bring light, fun and community spirit to the streets of Sharrow around Bonfire Night.
Ignite artists work with a wide variety of community groups and schools in the neighbourhood to deliver lantern-making workshops. A large crowd turns out for the Carnival itself, enjoying free food, music, fire spinning performances and the main event, the lantern parade through Sharrow.
“The Autumn Carnival and the creation of the lanterns is hugely important to this community. The community feel incredibly proud of the carnival which they have shaped over the years. It is an important part of the community calendar, and the children all talk about it and about the friends they will meet there and go with. They enjoy creating the lanterns to show to their friends on the evening.” Artist observation
The original need for this project was identified after exceptional levels of anti-social behaviour and disorder were recorded in the neighbourhood during the dark nights period of 2015. Ignite Imaginations and Sharrow Community Forum have worked together on the annual Autumn Carnival since 2016, and the project has resulted in large reductions in anti-social behaviour and incidents of disorder during the Dark Nights period. For example, during the first year of the project in 2016, there was a 23% reduction in anti-social behaviour and a 60% reduction in firework related anti-social incidents) during October and early November.
Since that point the local partnership have come together to collectively deliver a project and a Carnival event that have helped almost eradicate these levels of unacceptable behaviour and reclaimed the local park and surrounding area. Families and children have been able to safely enjoy an event designed with and for them.
Here is a film from our 2022 event: