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Spectacular light night arts festival Illuminate returns to Oldham

This year's theme, "Colour in Nature," will see Oldham town centre and Northern Roots transform into a canvas of colour and light on Saturday, 24 and Sunday, February 25.

Oldham is set to beam in a whole new light as Illuminate, the town's popular light night, returns for its seventh year.

The fun begins on Saturday, February 24, from 6pm with the annual illuminated parade from the Oldham Civic Centre to the Old Town Hall.

Hundreds of community-made lanterns, galloping horses, flying birds and a giant illuminated octopus will light up the High Street. Illuminated puppets, dancers and drummers from Global Grooves, alongside groups across Oldham, are to create a joyous explosion of colour, music and creativity.

From 6pm until 9pm, visitors can explore the ten light artworks at various locations across the town centre - all one needs to do is grab a brochure and follow the trail.

This year's light artworks include a specially commissioned projection on the Old Town Hall, Colour In Nature by Illumines. End Over End, the playful giant rainbow slinky at Gallery Oldham, And Then I Slipped by idontloveyouanymore, who bring their playful interactive waterfall to Oldham Library, The World Has Gone Pear Shaped by Tine Beck at Oldham Parish Church Gardens and not forgetting the Luminosi Trees at Market Place by Sound Intervention.

 

Cllr Arooj Shah, Leader of Oldham Council, welcomed the return of the events and said: "I am delighted to bring back this spectacular event to our beloved borough.

“The festival has become a highlight on our ever-growing cultural calendar, and I’m so pleased it's so well received by residents and visitors.”

"This year promises to be even more enchanting for families and individuals of all ages.

"Plus, those who haven’t yet seen the space at Northern Roots can experience it for the first time.”

Local artists and performers have been busy creating installations and performances for Illuminate, which include special performances of Oldham Theatre Workshops and a candlelight showcase of STRIKE at Oldham Parish Church, their new musical about the Victorian matchstick girls. Jubacana Oldham’s Youth Percussion Band will bring some groovy tunes to the parade.

Oldham Play Action Group will be creating light-up crafts with visitors at Gallery Oldham and Greater Manchester-based light artists Axolotyl bring their new artwork Polyrhythms, which was co-commissioned by the Light Up The North Shine programme for emerging light artists, which is not to be missed on High street.

The fun continues at Northern Roots on Sunday, 25 February, from 5.30pm to 8pm for ‘By the Light of the Moon’, an exciting free family event celebrating Moths' magical world. Those attending can meet the moonlight pollinators in the magical forest, help the moths carry out their nocturnal work and join the Moonlight Moth Ball.

Oldham Council has encouraged everyone to join in the festive fun by sharing photos from the night with the I Love Oldham Facebook page using #IlluminateOldham and to get a chance to be featured on the council’s Facebook page.

“I encourage everyone to get their friends and family together for what is certain to be a magical weekend of light, celebrating art and community," the Council Leader said.

*For more information about the events, visit www.oldham.gov.uk/illuminate

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