FREE family event Merry and Bright returns for 2022 – tonight in Ryde and bigger and brighter than ever.

New Carnival, in collaboration with Ryde Town Council, have organised a packed programme for this year’s event. 

Merry and Bright is taking place today (Friday, December 16), from 5pm to 8pm, featuring entertainment, activities, and performances. 

In the Christmas Arena at Town Square there will be a programme of entertainment on stage including magic from Huxley, Em Johnson, Mila Lake of The Voice fame, DJ Kaf-Tan, RAW Samba drummers and dancers, PyroLight and Jaydene Aerial.

Isle of Wight County Press: Last year's Merry and Bright. Picture by Tracy Curtis.Last year's Merry and Bright. Picture by Tracy Curtis. (Image: Tracy Curtis)

Look out for the Grinch roaming around and take part in Christmas craft activities.

The magical lantern parade will depart from Dover Street at 5.30pm and this year both Ryde Carnival Association and Ventnor Carnival Association will have their carnival royalty floats lit up for the occasion.

Watch out for the many school and community groups, and Keert Uk cargo bike (in disguise!).

The parade will travel along Park Street, Star Street, High Street, Cross Street and
Melville Street to finish at Vernon Square.

At Vernon Square gardens the Vernon Square Conservation Society will be providing mulled wine and mince pies. Marvel at the installations around the garden representing The Land and the Sea featuring newly made Island coastal buildings lanterns created by participants on New Carnival’s ACL course, and Ryde Academy’s IW biosphere project showcasing their recycled bottle top seahorse.

There will be performances on the patio including Double Take, the Monkton Merman Story, and New Carnival’s Neon Dancers.

Check out the magical Neon Garden, in St Thomas’s rest garden, with a food market full of sweets, treats and refreshments from Island businesses.

There will also be shadow installations to explore and interact with.

There will be more performances around the town at Minghella Square and in the Royal Victoria Arcade including Hannah the Vintage Songbird and PyroLight.

Don’t miss Re:Box’s latest exhibition, the iconic red phone box on Lind Street, which is currently showcasing work produced by Ryde Academy students.