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Glow Arts Illumination Trail to continue at Cobtree Manor Park in Aylesford following debut success


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A Kent visual arts production company is set to run a winter lights trail for the next five years following the success of its debut season.

Overall, 26,000 tickets were sold for the two-week Glow Arts event at Cobtree Manor Park in Aylesford last Christmas, which proved a roaring success.

The Glow Arts illuminated trail opened at Cobtree Manor Park for the first time last year. Picture: Nick Johnson
The Glow Arts illuminated trail opened at Cobtree Manor Park for the first time last year. Picture: Nick Johnson

Rainham-based Glow Arts founder Lisa Carpendale said: “The feedback from last year's trail has been fantastic and to be asked back for another five years is testament to the success of our first year.

“Cobtree Manor Park is such a beautiful venue, and we feel so privileged to be able to continue to use this wonderful setting for the next five years.

“We've learnt a lot from our debut event and will be using that to make this year's even more magical and most importantly, accessible and inclusive, because arts should be available to everyone.”

The debut in December saw the park - once home to Maidstone Zoo - transformed into a magical, twinkling immersive experience complete with fairy lights and art installations which lit up the woods as darkness fell.

Aiming to be as inclusive and accessible as possible, sensory sessions were included for guests in need of a more low-key experience while thought was given to the design for people with mobility concerns.

Glow Arts founder Lisa Carpendale
Glow Arts founder Lisa Carpendale

Community involvement was also a priority, with the on-site food market serving up treats and drinks from Kent vendors. Meanwhile, Maidstone's Parkwood Junior School took part in a workshop to make lanterns for the trail.

Due to the success and demand for tickets, Glow will open earlier and run for more weeks this year and is hoping to welcome an estimated 55,000 people.

Business sponsorship for 2022 - to support the event and also allow companies to reach this huge footfall right on top of Christmas - will also be invited.

The event was last year aided by a project grant from Arts Council England.

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