****UPDATE: The Winter Solstice Lantern Walk has been postponed to Sunday, December 23, due to expected rain.****

Friday is a big day in Hillsborough as the equivalent of a quarter of the town is expected to show up for the Winter Solstice Lantern Walk.

The popular celebration marking the beginning of the winter season in Hillsborough takes place this Friday evening. In the past, around 1,500 people have gathered for The Solstice Winter celebration along the Riverwalk in downtown Hillsborough with handmade lanterns.

The gathering began three years ago, and was organized around the Patrick Dougherty stickworks installation, A Sight to Behold. That work is near the ends of its life, and it looks like recent weather hasn’t done it any favors either.

Hillsborough Mayor Tom Stevens said the roof has collapsed on part of the structure. It’s safe, but it will be ready to come down by the planned decommissioning date in mid-January. Stevens says he’s looking forward to the opportunity for one last wintry walk past the public art.

He gave massive credit to the Hillsborough Arts Council, for both organizing the public art work and the celebration which has become so popular over the years.

“It’s amazing. It’s quite the volunteer organization.”

Folks interested in Friday evening event are asked to please register first online, and to bring their own lantern. The event begins at 5:45 p.m.. More information and registration info can be found on the Hillsborough Arts Council’s website.

And anyone wondering how they are going to come up with a lantern on short notice don’t need to worry; the arts council has you covered. They have a range of Lantern kits to choose from.

“Don’t let that deter you,” Stevens said. “Make your lantern and come on out for the lantern walk.”