Lightweight is the centrepiece of Christmas in the Gardens. Image credit: Kippa Matthews

Cathedral Gardens will be bathed in light this December as a specially commissioned, enchanting light show takes centre stage.

Christmas in the Gardens, taking place from Thursday 13 to Saturday 22 December, will see the beautiful public space in front of Leicester Cathedral come to life after dark.

Located between Jubilee Square Ice Rink and Leicester’s thriving independent shopping areas of St Martins Square and The Lanes, Christmas in the Gardens will inject some festive spirit into the Old Town and tie in to the city’s wider Christmas celebrations.

The luminous centrepiece of the Gardens will be an installation called LightWeight – a giant inflatable sphere, 4 metres across, glowing with intense colours and imagery.

The interactive projection orb will captivate all ages, as audience members can watch video and animation effects spin magically around the entire surface of the globe. The audience can even see their own animated portraits dancing across the structure – a nearby face-recognition camera booth captures images and maps them on to animations in real-time.

Leicester Cathedral and the surrounding gardens will be magnificently lit to provide a stunning backdrop to the LightWeight installation. Coloured light boxes will illuminate the trees, and elsewhere in the gardens there will be familiar seasonal sights and sounds including carol singers, transforming the Gardens into a festive retreat in the heart of the city.

Simon Jenner, BID Leicester Director, said: “Cathedral Gardens is an important thoroughfare between the popular ice rink and the city’s independent businesses of The Lanes and St Martins Square. The LightWeight installation at the centre of the Gardens is a new and exciting attraction for the city during the festive period, so I hope this event will inspire people to further explore the interesting shops, restaurants and bars in this historic area of Leicester.”

Nick Quinn, Director of St Martins House, said: “Cathedral Gardens is well-known as a peaceful retreat in the heart of the Old Town. I am looking forward to welcoming visitors and seeing them exploring this beautiful space after dark. Leicester Cathedral looks spectacular when lit at night, and along with the illuminated Gardens and interactive light exhibit, Cathedral Gardens is a must-visit part of the city’s Christmas celebrations.”

Geoff Rowe, CEO of Big Difference Company, added: “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to produce this beautiful light installation to add to Leicester’s fantastic Christmas celebrations. We specialise in major festivals and events, and as a Leicester-based organisation we are excited about bringing this creative, playful and interactive digital piece to the city.”

Chris Squire from Impossible – the artists behind LightWeight – said: “After sharing this installation at events ranging from Berlin to Bridlington, it’s great to be able to bring LightWeight to Leicester – the city where I studied and from where I set out on my creative career.”

Christmas in the Gardens will run from Thursday 13 December to Saturday 22 December, 5pm to 10pm daily. RSVP to the Facebook event for updates.

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