An illuminating experience! Carnival performers will help kick off Light Night Leeds celebrations

An LED umbrella display by Cirque Bijou. Picture: Gravity Fields.
An LED umbrella display by Cirque Bijou. Picture: Gravity Fields.

Two of the best-loved events in the Leeds cultural calendar are set to join forces to dazzling effect later this year.

Performers from the Leeds West Indian Carnival will be taking part in a spectacular city centre parade to mark the start of 2017’s Light Night Leeds celebrations on Thursday, October 5.

It will also feature a stunning display of LED umbrellas courtesy of artists Cirque Bijou plus drumming group Spark! and lanterns and stilt walkers from Hebden Bridge’s Handmade Parade.

Coun Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council, said: “Leeds West Indian Carnival has been a cornerstone of culture in Leeds for 50 years now, and as a city we’re incredibly proud of the tremendous success and longevity it has enjoyed as a standard bearer for cultural diversity and community togetherness.

“Light Night Leeds is now also established as one of the city’s foremost celebrations of creativity and artistic endeavour, bringing together thousands of people to experience a beautiful kaleidoscope of colour and light each and every year.

“As we move closer to submitting our bid to be European Capital of Culture in 2023, it’s incredibly exciting to see these two magnificent events come together in what is a game-changing time for culture and the arts in Leeds.”

More than 60 art installations and initiatives will take place on October 5 and 6 as part of Light Night, now in its 13th year.

They will include an illuminated light maze at Granary Wharf and a projection by leading UK artist Ross Ashton across the front of Leeds Civic Hall that will chart the city’s long and proud history.

The Light Night programme will also feature an exhibition at the Tetley exploring the visual, cultural and political impact of the Leeds West Indian Carnival.

Curated by Sonya Dyer, the exhibition will tell its story using costumes and a wealth of fascinating visual and audio material.

For further information on what is being planned for Light Night, visit the whatson.leeds.gov.uk/lightnight web page.

Founded in 1967 by Arthur France, the Leeds West Indian Carnival is the oldest event of its kind in Europe.

The high point of 2017’s carnival celebrations will take place as usual this Bank Holiday Monday, with an all-singing, all-dancing parade starting and ending in Potternewton Park.

Organisers are promising families an unrivalled atmosphere and infectious rhythms as well as “special guest international performances”.

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