Oxford is gearing up for its annual Christmas Light Festival, set to illuminate the city with creativity and community spirit from 17th to 19th November 2023. Coordinated by Oxford City Council, this year’s festival promises an array of engaging activities, captivating light displays, and unique artistic collaborations.
Throughout the festival weekend, artists and local communities will come together to create an enchanting experience filled with workshops, exhibitions, light trails, and interactive displays. These events, spread across the city centre and various local neighborhoods, ensure that everyone, regardless of their location, can be part of the festivities.
This year’s theme places a special emphasis on community involvement and creative expression. Participants can look forward to a diverse array of cultural activities, including music, visual arts, and craft sessions suitable for families. The festival will also showcase exceptional light sculptures, offer opportunities to purchase one-of-a-kind gifts at markets, and provide a platform for cultural exploration.
In collaboration with local organizations such as Film Oxford, Fusion Arts, WOPA, OVADA, and The North Wall Arts Centre, the festival will feature lantern-making workshops designed for schools, community groups, and families. These handcrafted lanterns will add a personal touch to the festival, adorning homes, enhancing light trails, or featuring in various lantern parades throughout Oxford.
Karen Starr, the Festival Coordinator, shared her enthusiasm: “The OCLF is a unique event that brings local communities together. There is no limit to the imagination and creativity that each year makes this festival so exciting and a joy to be part of.”
The festival weekend is packed with extraordinary events. Highlights include a grand son et lumiere projection by TORCH at the Radcliffe Humanities Building, Islamic art displays at the History of Science Museum, and thematic exhibitions at the Bodleian Libraries. Attendees can also enjoy Diwali celebrations at OVADA, intergenerational storytelling at the Barton Neighbourhood Centre, and captivating tales at The Story Museum. Furthermore, several neighborhoods including Rose Hill, West Oxford, and Florence Park will host their own lantern parades.
Councillor Jemima Hunt, Cabinet Member for Inclusive Communities and Culture, expressed her delight: “Oxford’s Christmas Light Festival is an opportunity for communities to come together and celebrate the magic of the festive period. Light festivals have a special place in our shared histories. I am delighted to see so many wonderful events taking place this year across the city and congratulate all those involved. I look forward to seeing you there.”
Residents are encouraged to participate by decorating their homes with lights or window displays and joining local light trails. By registering on the festival website, streets can be part of the citywide map of events and trails.
As the festival approaches, more events, workshops, and activities will be added to the program. All participating organizations are invited to register their involvement on the official festival website: Oxford Christmas Light Festival.
Written by: Hamish Law
John's Gone & The Disappointments
The Juniper Club
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