They were the city’s shining lights who risked their lives and freedom to fight for women’s right to vote.
And the memories of Leeds’s own pioneering Suffragettes Leonora Cohen and Mary Gawthorpe will be illuminated tomorrow, during a special light-themed parade paying tribute to some of most inspiring women of the last century.
Organised as the launch event for the city’s two-day Light Night Festival, thousands of visitors are tomorrow expected to line the streets as the parade winds through Leeds city centre, after starting on The Headrow from 7.30pm.
Featuring illuminated banners, animated puppets and LED signs created by community groups, other influential women who will be celebrated during the parade include astronaut Helen Sharman and civil rights activist Rosa Parks.
The parade will be just one of more than 60 eye-catching light and sound installations that will transform city centre landmarks throughout the two-day festival, now returning for its 14th year, from The Queens Hotel and Kirkgate Market to Leeds’s town and civic halls.
Coun Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council, said: “Over the past 14 years, Light Night Leeds has continued to evolve, growing into an event of such impressive ambition and creativity that it has become one of the benchmarks for culture and innovation in Leeds and beyond.”
Workshops, supported by Yorkshire Building Society, have taken place to create light-up signs and banners.
The festival has been backed by The Light shopping centre.