District lights up for Christmas

The countdown to Christmas is on – and this year Wakefield Council is bringing festive cheer to the district with an expanded Light Up festival.

Following last year’s success, Light Up returns from 17 November to 5 December with buildings across the district being lit up in bright colours, backed by supporting events and activities, to mark the beginning of the festive season.

Key dates include:

  • 17 November – South Elmsall.
  • 19-21 November – Wakefield city centre.
  • 19 November – West Yorkshire History Centre.
  • 23 November – Castleford.
  • 24 November – Artwalk Wakefield and The Art House.
  • 27 November – Ossett.
  • 27 November – Aspire @ThePark.
  • 26-28 November – National Coal Mining Museum.
  • 28 November – Pontefract.
  • 30 November – All Saints Church in South Kirby.
  • 20-21 Nov, 27-28 Nov and 4-5 Dec – The Hepworth Wakefield and festive mini-market.
Michael Graham smiling
Cllr Michael Graham

Cllr Michael Graham, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport, said: “Light Up proved to be really popular last year.

“But we’re always searching for ways to make things better and we think we’ve come up with an exciting and imaginative programme with our partner organisations.”

From 19-21 November, Wakefield city centre welcomes STILL, a spectacular work featuring a show-stopping combination of light and sound projected onto the cathedral.

STILL, which will transform the iconic cathedral like never before, is produced by creative studio NOVAK with musician and sound artist Ed Carter, lighting designer Phil Supple and the cathedral choir.

That weekend, Light Up partners Wakefield BID, The Ridings Shopping Centre, Trinity Walk and the cathedral will host fair rides, live music, face painting, Santa’s grotto, lantern making workshops and much more.

Light Up this year will also welcome partner activity across the district from organisations including Artwalk Wakefield, who will be hosting five light-themed workshops.

There will be the return of The Hepworth Wakefield’s festive mini-markets over three consecutive weekends.

And there will be the launch of ‘Santa Underground’ at the National Coal Mining Museum plus the reopening of the ‘Treasures of the Archive Service’ exhibition at the West Yorkshire History Centre.

Castleford’s market hall and library building will be lit up until 9pm on Tuesday 23 November.

There will also be a festive market, stage entertainment and children’s funfair rides to celebrate the switching on of the town’s Christmas lights.

Pontefract will see St Giles’ Church, the Buttercross and the Town Hall lit up until 9pm on Sunday 28 November, with a festive market, food hub, seating area, stage entertainment and children’s funfair rides to mark the switching on of the Christmas lights.

Cllr Graham added: “We’re encouraging people to support our town and city centres by putting on all sorts of festivals and activities that are unique to our district.  

“And I’m sure the streets will be buzzing with people enjoying Light Up given the response we’ve seen to other events hosted since lockdown eased.”

Visitors to the events are encouraged to share their experience on social media using #lightup.

See expwake.co./LightUp for more details.