Light Up

In the run up to Christmas, on four consecutive dates this December, we’d hoped to spread some light and cheer across communities in Leamington, Bellamy Road, Clay Cross and South Normanton.

Sadly, plans have had to change due to the ever-evolving Covid-19 pandemic and we’ve had to postpone the activity until early next year.

The plan was for households to come to their doors or windows and proudly display a lit lantern, specially-commissioned by First Art, to Light Up the community.

We’re keeping everything crossed that this can happen in January or February next year and details of what is happening will be shared here, on social media and through our partners and the communities we’re working with.

What’s it about?

Light Up is a way to come together (as best we can) and celebrate community – something, we’re sure you’ll agree, that’s especially important this year.

In what’s been an extraordinarily tough year due to the pandemic we wanted to bring a little extra light to communities by creating a special moment to share together.

A chance to reflect on those we’ve lost, to our family and friends we miss, to those who’ve helped us get through this, and to honour a wonderful community for sticking together in the testing of times.

So, when it does happen what’s the plan?

A team of Light Up elves will distributed lantern kits to homes across the four areas in the days just before the big Light Up – there’s nearly 3000 that we will be getting out to those communities!

These have been designed and produced by Dizzy Ink in Nottingham, featuring illustrations by Grace Barnes. These have all been screen printed by hand and the kits put together by an ace team of packers (who have got 3000 kits ready for when we do go ahead).

Screen printing by hand the First Art lanterns

Light Up lantern kits

Image © First Art / Lamar Francois 2020

Full instructions are in the kits and we’ll be providing a little video too which will be available online here.

Lantern kit contents

Image © First Art / Lamar Francois 2020

On the day (a different day per community), at a set time (it was going to be 7pm), we plan for a wonderful communal glow to be created across the neighbourhood as everyone comes to their door or window with their lanterns lit.

Sing out

At the same time the lanterns are lit, music from a brass band will play including the song ‘Run’ by Snow Patrol (you might know the Leona Lewis cover). We would like people to join in with the chorus to this, the lyrics being especially apt “light up, light up….I’ll be right be side you”.


Chapter Three

Light Up forms part of the third and final chapter of our Go the Distance Festival. All of Chapter Three features light-related and light-inspired projects that will see out 2020 and into early 2021.