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27 November 2019

Councils join forces to light up Carlisle in February 2020

An exciting line up of events, displays and installations is being planned for the first ever ‘City of Lights’ project in Carlisle.  The four-day event will take place between Wednesday 12 and Saturday 15 February 2020.

The project, a partnership between Carlisle City Council and Cumbria County Council alongside a range of local partners (including Story Contracting and the Railway Heritage Trust), will be delivered under the ‘Love Carlisle’ brand.  The aim of Love Carlisle is to organise and promote events, opportunities and activities that raise the profile of Carlisle and celebrate the variety of cultural and creative talent in the city.

The centre-piece of the City of Lights event will be a stunning visual spectacle in Carlisle Cathedral on the 12, 13 and 14 February. The Cathedral will host ‘The Great Exhibition - SPACE: God, the Universe and Everything,’ inspired by the 1969 Moon landings. Created by the award-winning Luxmuralis artistic collaboration, it will take people on a walking journey through the Cathedral, revealing the universe, galaxies, space, creation, and light through a variety of sound and light installations that will transform the internal space of the Cathedral. Tickets to all sessions are available in advance from Carlisle Tourist Information Centre, the Old Town Hall or from discovercarlisle.co.uk priced at £5 for adults and £4 for children under 16.

The City of Lights event will also see numerous buildings and local landmarks in the Court Square and Citadels area of the city illuminated with coloured lights and projections.  Visitors will be guided via a map through Court Square where they will see the Griffin Pub, The Hallmark Hotel, Carlisle Railway Station and the Citadels in a very different light. Walking through the city centre towards the Old Town Hall, visitors will find projected images in the town hall windows brought to life. The Market Cross and public areas of the city will also be illuminated with eye-catching displays.

There is also an exciting opportunity for local schools to enter a team in the ‘Nightgeist’ competition at Tullie House. Taking place on the evening of Thursday 13 February, the event will see teams from four local schools compete to create the best lighting display in the museum. Each team will be given a set of lights and LED’s, instructions on how to use them, a mentor from the lighting company and a designated area of the museum to work on their own creative display. The displays will be judged by a team of experts, with prizes for the winning project.

Paul Walker, Destination Manager at Carlisle City Council, said:

“This is a great opportunity for us to promote and learn about some of our historic buildings in a new and engaging way. The aim is to draw visitors into our city centre during a traditionally quiet period to help support our high street. Carlisle’s historic assets provide the perfect canvas for the artwork, and maps will be available with information about all of the buildings included.

“The SPACE event at Carlisle Cathedral will be the first event of its kind for Carlisle. Our Cathedral is the perfect place to contemplate the mysteries of space and the place of human beings within it. It will be a spectacular, unmissable experience which will dazzle your eyes and expand your horizons to infinity. It’s set to be an event that’s out of this world!”

Paul Musgrave, Cumbria County Council’s Area Manager for Carlisle, said:

“I am delighted to be working in partnership with Carlisle City Council and a range of local partners to bring our city to life in a new and imaginative way.  The lighting installations will showcase the city and help draw people towards the high street and the variety of night time attractions, restaurants and bars in the city centre and historic quarter. The SPACE event at the Cathedral will be a first for the city and I can’t wait to see it brought to life in such a striking way. The competition at Tullie House provides an opportunity for younger people to engage with the project and to put their creativity and imagination to the test.  It’s set to be a fantastic event for the city and I very much hope we can build on it in future years.”



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An exciting line up of events, displays and installations is being planned for the first ever ‘City of Lights’ project in Carlisle.