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Leeds Light Night makes spectacular return to city centre

Leeds Light Night parade featured giant Suffragette puppets along The Headrow'. Pictures by Gerard Binks Photography.
Leeds Light Night parade featured giant Suffragette puppets along The Headrow'. Pictures by Gerard Binks Photography.
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A dazzling array of illuminated creations made for a spellbinding spectacle of light and sound in Leeds city centre as one of the city’s biggest cultural celebrations returned.

Tens of thousands more visitors are expected tonight for the second day of Light Night Leeds which sees buildings, streets and public spaces transformed by local, national and international artists.

A giant illuminated puppet and a part of the Leeds Light Night parade on the festival's opening night in Leeds city centre.

A giant illuminated puppet and a part of the Leeds Light Night parade on the festival's opening night in Leeds city centre.

Opening night got underway with a twinkling parade of animated puppets, luminous banners and LED signs made by community groups, the procession winding a path along The Headrow and through the city past crowds lining the streets.

The parade celebrated Leeds Suffragettes Leonora Cohen and Mary Gawthorpe, as well as other inspirational women from the past 100 years including astronaut Helen Sharman and civil rights activist Rosa Parks.

Elsewhere and Victoria Leeds hosted ‘Fantastic Planet’, a collection of giant, luminous humanoids created by Australian artist Amanda Parer which are designed to resemble travellers from an alien world exploring Leeds for the first time.

At The Queen’s Hotel, a huge fire-breathing dragon was projected onto the building’s façade and Leeds Civic Hall was transformed by a fusion of modern art and cutting edge science as Spanish digital studio Hotaru Visual Guerrilla drew on research by The University of Leeds to create a compelling projection.

A tight rope walker puts his balance to the test on a high wire in Trinity Shopping Centre', Leeds.

A tight rope walker puts his balance to the test on a high wire in Trinity Shopping Centre', Leeds.

Other locations featured fire displays, interactive installations, family fun and live performances, with more the 60 pieces spread across locations that included Kirkgate Market, the Corn Exchange and Leeds University.

The evening’s festivities were well received by visitors such as Jenny Cantrell, 34, of Meanwood, who said: “It feels really alive and vibrant. There is so much to see.”

And Chai-Tan Parmar, 37, from Leeds, added: “It gets better every year!”

Nearly all events are available again tonight from 6pm to 11pm, except the parade.

Musicians taking part in the Leeds Light Night parade.

Musicians taking part in the Leeds Light Night parade.

Leeds Civic Hall all light up for Leeds Light Night.

Leeds Civic Hall all light up for Leeds Light Night.

A projection of a fire-breathing dragon appeared on the Queens Hotel on the opening day of Leeds Light Night.

A projection of a fire-breathing dragon appeared on the Queens Hotel on the opening day of Leeds Light Night.