Barnsley’s captivating Bright Nights Festival returns later this month promising three nights of free family entertainment across the town centre.
The fun gets underway on Thursday 24 November with the Christmas Lights Switch-On in The Glass Works Square, featuring a fabulous music and pyrotechnic outdoor singalong show from The Lips.
Look out for illuminated Winter Wonderland Birds, energetic Bouncing Elves, and elegant Light Belles. A giant disco ball sculpture by artist Shaun Colins will also sparkle in the heart of the square, reflecting the long history of glass making in Barnsley.
Explore the Light Art Trail across multiple venues in the town centre across all three nights of the festival – including Luma, a giant nine-metre-long robotic snail who will welcome guests with an otherworldly presence at Barnsley College.
There’s more to explore at the Cooper Gallery with the stunning Brains in a Dish sculptures and projections aiming to illuminate our understandings of the brain and celebrate recent breakthroughs in the dementia research of Barnsley-born Professor Selina Wray in collaboration with artist Charlie Murphy.
St. Mary’s Church will host a new Christmas Tree Festival, with trees decorated by local schools, charities, and community groups from across Barnsley.
Youngsters will love getting hands-on to create mini 'stained glass' windows using transparent Lego® to form part of a large-scale illuminated artwork at The Glass Works’ dedicated gallery and museum space. And you can glow crazy at the Library @ the Lightbox with a new Neon Whirled installation by artist James Brunt and neon face painting activities.
On Saturday 26 November, the Bright Nights Parade will see a host of community groups journeying from The Civic to The Glass Works accompanied by futuristic robotic drummers and illuminated creations. Catch the parade as it starts at 6pm at Mandela Gardens before weaving its way down Eldon Street and Cheapside before reaching the Glass Works Square for a fun finale including music from the DJukebox human jukebox.
Cllr Robert Frost, Cabinet Spokesperson for Regeneration and Culture at Barnsley Council said: “Barnsley Bright Nights is always a spectacular occasion, and we look forward to welcoming thousands of visitors over the three days. This creative, free festival offers entertainment for all ages and interests.”
Commenting on recent data which reveals Barnsley Town Centre footfall has risen 30.2% over the past three months compared to the same period in 2019, Cllr Frost added: “Barnsley’s reputation as a retail and leisure destination continues to grow, outperforming other comparable towns and cities. If you haven’t visited Barnsley for a while, we’d love to welcome you back during Bright Nights.”
Visit Barnsley.gov.uk/Events for more information and timings or check out the Love Barnsley Town Centre social media pages on Facebook and Twitter for updates.
Participating Bright Nights venues include: The Glass Works, St Mary’s Church, The Civic, Barnsley College Old Mill Lane Campus, The Cooper Gallery, Victorian Arcade, Eldon Street, Library @ the Lightbox, Alhambra Shopping Centre, Mandela Gardens.
Barnsley Bright Nights is a member of Light Up The North network of northern light festivals. See https://lightupthenorth.com/ for more information.
Parking is also free in various off-street car parks after 5pm. Find out more: https://www.barnsley.gov.uk/services/roads-travel-and-parking/parking/car-parks-and-on-street-parking/