Truro's Favourite Event started life as the vision of one man

Tony Crosby, a local maker and artist, is part of the founding team who conceived City of Lights. Together, they wanted to explore  the possibility of a new tradition for Truro and they set about creating unique and distinctive lanterns made from willow and opaque paper. With a candle inside each lantern to guide the way, their vision was to bring together ancient traditions of making and storytelling. The lanterns were built to tell a story.

The Truro lantern parade itself came about as a natural conclusion to the completion of the first lanterns. This small team decided to take a quiet walk through the city streets to enjoy the patterns and candlelight reflections. It was a quiet celebration for the artists and creators to see their work come to life.


Over nearly 25 years the parade has grown, first taking on a route, then involving schools and more artists. Today, it's the highlight of the year for Truro residents and visitors.

There is a great tradition of storytelling in Cornwall, beautiful words and music that bring the everyday and the wonderful to life. The UK's most westerly county is rich in myth, toil and legend - and where better to bring this all together in a celebration that is open to all, in Truro, Cornwall’s only city.

And as the story unfolds every year, as elaborate creations promenade through our streets, as the community turnout grows bigger every year... it’s easy to forget that this came about from a desire to tell a story. And that a wish to bring people together to create and celebrate  is where this magical night began.

The parade grows every year and is firmly rooted in the hearts of everyone who lives, works and visits Truro.  Artists and makers inspire and guide schools and community groups to design their lanterns and tell their own stories as they work.


Truro City of Lights is now the flagship event for Truro - and winter in Cornwall - and welcomes more than 30,000 people to the city streets just for one day.