Illuminate Festival

Celebrating Austerfield and Bawtry’s 400 year connections with the Pilgrims and the sailing of the Mayflower. Part of the Pilgrim Roots project.

Pilgrim Roots is a regional partnership that is part of the national Mayflower 400 partnership, working collectively to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower's voyage and the stories associated with it - including the roots of the Separatists who became Pilgrims, through themes of tolerance, freedom, journeys and migration. Pilgrims' heritage is shared across four nations - the UK, the Netherlands, the Wampanoag and the USA.

This event has been supported by DMBC and delivered in partnership by Right Up Our Street and the community of Doncaster.

Come and Join us on Sunday the 17th November Austerfield & Bawtry’s Illuminate Festival we have lots planned across the day, ending with a spectacular performance at Bawtry Hall.

Sitting at the heart of the festival will be a mass choir and ‘Under the Sea’ themed artworks. Over the last few months pupils from Bawtry Mayflower Primary School, Everton Primary School, Coppice School and Hatfield Woodhouse Primary School and the Bawtry Community library have been busy creating a giant parable illuminated whale, made by using hundreds of plastic bottles saved and reused for the project. Facilitated by sculptor Dan Jones the resulting 7m long sculpture will be paraded from Austerfield through to Bawtry, the Whale will be joined by those school children and paraded to Bawtry Hall, along with their handmade lanterns and voices lighting the journey, accompanied by musicians Janet Wood and Moony Wainwright. 

The event will begin with a candle lighting service in Austerfield church at 11:15am

From 2:30pm until 4:30pm, the Phoenix Theatre will be open for light refreshments and the showing (on a loop) of a short 7-minute video giving historic background to the Pilgrim Fathers.

The whale will begin its journey from Austerfield at 4pm arriving into Bawtry at 4.30pm where it will pick up school children and then make it’s way to Bawtry Hall for the finale performances.

The parade will end at Bawtry Hall with a spectacular finale:

● A spectacular aerial dance ‘Odyssey’ performed by international touring company 


● Mass choir performance including all school children and Quirky Choir. 

● The Doncaster Waites 

● An “Under the Sea’ themed ‘Dance On’ social ball with local groups from Doncaster* 

● Heritage Doncaster showcasing locally made pilgrim artefacts. 

● Food and Drinks available to purchase.

The event will close at 6pm