Published: 10:28, 08 November 2019
| Updated: 10:29, 18 November 2019
It’s going to be an extra-special Christmas in Ashford this December with a series of creative events and spectacles set to dazzle children and adults!
Dubbed ‘Illuminites’, these never-before-seen Christmas-themed installations and lights will leave the town centre with a festive glow.
On Friday, December 6 and Saturday, December 7, a five minute digital mapping projection will be emblazoned on the side of International House, Dover Place, celebrating Ashford’s heritage and history.
Onlookers will be able to watch in wonder as the building transforms before their eyes, falling away and reappearing in a kaleidoscope of imagery.
The newly-opened Coachworks in Dover Place will be serving up a range of food and drink, working with Rebel Farmer to provide local and sustainable food, while there will also be a small market of local traders.
The shows will be at 4:30, 5:30 and 6:30pm during which time the car park at Dover Place will be closed for viewers to watch safely.
Ashford’s Winter Forest
On the same weekend and for two nights only, residents will be able to experience Ashford’s enchanting and magical Winter Forest, made up of a trail of illuminated trees dotted around the town centre and Elwick Place.
The trees are Ashford-themed, showcasing the town’s rich history, famous landmarks, and illustrious residents for a striking installation that evokes a wintery woodland walk.
Carnival of the Baubles
The Illuminites celebrations will culminate the following weekend, on Saturday, December 14, with the Carnival of the Baubles.
Starting at Elwick Place 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.
Once the procession ends, there will be a night market selling hot food and drink to cap off a perfect festive family evening.
Anyone wanting to get involved with Illuminites can drop in to the Illumination Station in County Square from Monday, December 2, where they can decorate their very own Christmas bauble.
These will be hung from one of the trees in the Winter Forest, contributing people’s artwork to the impressive installation.
For more information on dates and location for the Illumination Station, click here (www.loveashford.com).
The Illuminites events have been 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 previously worked on huge prestigious 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.
“We are quite excited to be hosting these events in Ashford,” said Tracey Kerly, who is Ashford Borough Council’s Chief Executive.
“We have not had these companies come together in a series like this. We very much look forward to seeing lots of people in the town centre to start our Christmas celebrations.
“These events should showcase Ashford borough at its best, and I hope everyone attending will feel pleased to be part of it.”
Amaya Dent, Creative Producer at Emergency Exit Arts, added, “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 currently delivering an exciting two year programme of cultural events in Ashford and 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 this fantastic occasion.”
Fraser MacAndrew and JD Bracknell of We Make Stuff Happen, also spoke of their delight to be working with on Illuminites and the town’s cultural contribution.
That sentiment was echoed by The Creative Department of LM Productions who said they were looking forward to bringing new and exciting experiences to the Ashford community.
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