Ashford’s Light Up Christmas

Ashford in Kent is staging the retail fightback this Christmas with an event that adds festive fun through illumination to the town. During the 6th and 7th of December, Ashford will light up in a display celebrating and showcasing the borough. Working with strategic partners, Ashford Borough Council have developed a visual light show to add fun and ‘stress relief’ to the Christmas shopping experience.

Part of the display will see a digital mapping projection (Glow International) on the side of International House, Dover Place, close to the newly opened Coachworks community hub. The recently opened meanwhile space will be host to food and drinks offering and small market of local traders.

The illumination display will also include a trail of illuminated trees through the town showcasing the town’s rich history, famous landmarks, and illustrious residents. The illuminations will form a striking installation that evokes a wintery woodland walk.

The following weekend sees a continuation of colourful light shows treating visitors to Ashford to an illuminated Carnival of Christmas Baubles. Starting at Elwick Place on Saturday 14th December from 5.30pm, a procession of giant, illuminated baubles, decorated by children from six Ashford primary schools, will make its way down Bank Street to the Lower High Street. Visitors can visit the Illumination Station to decorate and personalise baubles which will be hung from one of the trees in the Winter Forest. (For more information on dates and location for the Illumination Station, please visit www.loveashford.com.)

The Illuminites events are organised by Ashford Borough Council and Loveashford, in partnership with Emergency Exit Arts, We Make Stuff Happen, LM Productions, and supported by local Ashford businesses. 

Emergency Exit Arts, We Make Stuff Happen and LM Productions have all worked on national and international projects individually before, including Universal Studios Florida, the Lord Mayor’s Show and the Regent Street Christmas lights switch on, but never on a joint series of events like this.

Tracey Kerly Chief Executive of Ashford Borough Council said. “We are excited to be hosting these unique events in Ashford. We look forward to seeing Ashford illuminated to begin our Christmas celebrations. These events showcase Ashford borough at its best and will bring colourful cheer on December nights for residents and visitors alike.”

Fraser MacAndrew and JD Bracknell of We Make Stuff Happen, said: “We Make Stuff Happen is thrilled to be working with Ashford Borough Council on Illuminites. The area’s rich history and heritage has provided lots of inspiration for the Winter Forest and the result will be a celebration of Ashford’s cultural contribution. We’re looking forward to lighting up the town for residents and sharing some festive spirit.”

The Creative Department of LM Productions said: “We are delighted to be working with Ashford Borough Council on this Illuminites project, to bring new and exciting experiences to the Ashford Community.”

Amaya Dent, Creative Producer at Emergency Exit Arts, said: “Emergency Exit Arts is one of the leading lights in outdoor arts and has been producing celebrations at the heart of communities for 40 years. We are delivering an exciting two-year programme of cultural events in Ashford. We are delighted to be bringing the Carnival of the Baubles to the town centre. We hope that lots of people get involved with the lantern making workshops to join in this fantastic occasion.”

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