Light Up Lancaster returns

The butterfly transformation pictured in China will be at the Storey Gardens for the Light Up Lancaster Festival.
The butterfly transformation pictured in China will be at the Storey Gardens for the Light Up Lancaster Festival.

The countdown has begun for a magical two day festival of light, music, art and fireworks in the city.

This year’s Light Up Lancaster Festival takes inspiration from the natural world and sees city centre attractions illuminated in various colours.

Illumaphonium display at Light Up Lancaster Festival. Picture by Darren Andrews.

Illumaphonium display at Light Up Lancaster Festival. Picture by Darren Andrews.

Taking place on November 3-4, the festival welcomes local and international artists to create installations and performances about wildlife, the human body and the weather.

The artwork and installation element of the event will span both evenings, so if you’re not able to get into town on the Friday evening, you’ll be able to enjoy the family friendly trail of discovery in a series of interlinked light and sound in the lead-up to the fireworks finale on the Saturday.

From 5.30pm on both evenings you can discover what might happen if Mother Nature reclaimed Lancaster Castle or see the dawn as you’ve never seen it before at the Judges’ Lodgings.

If you take a trip to Market Square you’ll hear the sea come to the city in musical form and at The Storey you can sit in the Moon Seat and see your inner animal reflected.

Dallas Road Gardens will feature an illuminated sound garden and a garden of musical plants will be present at Lancaster’s Priory Church.

Illuminated creatures which have fluttered all the way from Guangzhou in China will take up residence in the Storey Gardens. Meanwhile on Saturday, during the day, a host of activities are available for all the family, from walks, talks and tours to crafty creative workshops at a number of key locations in the city.

Then in the evening at 8pm, the popular firework spectacular will be launched from the grounds of Lancaster Castle.

A wristband system will be in place again this year for the two official viewing areas at Quay Meadow and Giant Axe.

Free wristbands for those wanting to view the fireworks from these locations will be available to order online until 5pm this Thursday (October 26).

After this time, any remaining wristbands can be picked up in person from Lancaster Visitor Information Centre on Meeting House Lane.

Although the fireworks will be visible from almost anywhere in the city that can see the castle, spectators might enjoy watching them from the other official viewing area at Williamson Park which does not require passes.

Those watching from Quay Meadow and the Giant Axe sites will also be able to enjoy the coordinated soundtrack as well as a range of food and live entertainment.

At Williamson Park, spectators will be able to purchase refreshments from the café and enjoy the music and view of the fireworks and the city at night.

Those watching the fireworks from the official locations should arrive at the venue by no later than 7.30pm.

Organisers have said that alcohol and fireworks (including sparklers) must not be brought to the official viewing areas.

As in previous years, Castle Park, Castle Hill and St Mary’s Parade will be closed at 7pm and people will not be able to view the fireworks from these areas.

Salt Ayre Leisure Centre will not be acting as an official viewing area as in previous years.

Also on November 3 and 4 Lancaster City Museum will see the finale of Blasted, an artistic project marking the centenary of the White Lund munitions factory explosion.