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PHOTOS: Light Up Lancaster pulls huge crowds to the city

The fireworks display on Saturday night. Photo by Josh Brandwood.

Lancaster was packed with 'tens of thousands' of people at the weekend for an annual festival of light culminating in a fireworks display from the castle.

The two-day free family-friendly festival on Friday and Saturday, celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, brought innovative and imaginative light art to Lancaster’s city centre streets, squares and historic buildings.

Light Up Lancaster locations included the Priory, the Judges’ Lodgings, St Nicholas Arcades, The Herbarium, The Cornerstone and The Storey. Outdoor venues featured included the Castle, Market, Dalton and Sun Squares, the Storey Gardens, New Street and Upper Church Street/Castle Hill.

Josh Brandwood from Lancaster said: "I can confidently say I've never seen as many people in Lancaster in one evening. Tens of thousands easily.

"I spoke to a few people who have travelled from far and wide including a couple from Scotland who came specifically for this event."

A dinosaur roared out of the window of a building in Dalton Square, the Ship of the Gods dropped anchor in the Priory Church and transformed into a cathedral, while the Castle provided the perfect backdrop for a moving musical installation about memory and time: 100 Stories High by Lancaster’s award winning imitating the dog digital theatre company.

Hundreds of beautiful butterflies fluttered en-masse in St John’s Church, one of the festival’s newest venues, while bees could be heard buzzing around The Nectary, massive glowing flowers in Storey Gardens.

Lancaster’s very own Ludus Dance Company and guests Night People brought the rave scene to Sun Square while the festival’s first ever Light Art Jam was hosted by Kanteena, another new venue.

Light Up Lancaster's theme this year was Turning Points - as shown by 'Waiting For A Message From Home', a giant lantern in the form of a soldier encircled by illuminated doves at the front of the City Museum, which is currently hosting a wartime exhibition.

Light Up Lancaster was organised by Lancaster City Council, Lancaster BID and The Dukes.  It was funded by Arts Council England, Lancaster City Council and Lancaster BID and supported by Lancashire County Council, the Granada Foundation, The Borough and Simply French.

"We were delighted to welcome so many people to Lancaster city centre, to enjoy the artworks and installations and to view the firework display,” said Coun Sandra Thornberry, Lancaster City Council cabinet member for arts, culture and wellbeing.

"Light Up Lancaster is instrumental in bringing visitors to the city to enjoy not only the event but the shops, restaurants and attractions which are open during the weekend of the festival. Just as importantly, Light Up offers two days of fun and entertainment that communities can come together to enjoy for free and something which is very much welcomed by many, particularly during these difficult times.”

Here are some of Josh Brandwood's photos from Light Up Lancaster 2022 including some of the stunning light projections on the city's historic buildings.

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