Enchanted Gardens light trail brings festive cheer to Town Gardens.
The inaugural Enchanted Gardens Light Trail has been hailed as a resounding success attracting more than 27,000 visitors.
Hosted by South Swindon Parish Council and designed and delivered by light art pioneers, Luminism, the 1.5km light trail took visitors on a magical journey through the historic Town Gardens, in Old Town Swindon.
Swindon’s newest festive attraction included an array of light art sculptures and interactive installations culminating in a light show within the art deco Bowl.
One visitor review stated: “We honestly thought it was fantastic and worth every penny. It’s well organised, lights in every corner covering every tree, food and drink at reasonable prices and the carol singers helped bring that lovely Christmas ambience.” Continuing to say: “Our baby girl loved it. I really hope this is a yearly thing. Well done to those all involved with organising this. It’s incredible value!”
Another visitor who attended on the opening night described the trail as “a perfect way to spend a couple of hours. We were looking forward to it, but it surpassed all our expectations.”
As part of the illuminations, three local schools were invited to create one of the light art sculptures. Circular mirrors were decorated by 250 pupils from Mountford Manor Primary, Holy Family Catholic Primary and Goddard Park Primary schools, depicting their thoughts and feelings on the previous year and their hopes for the year to come. The mirrors formed a large installation within the Gardens historic bandstand and once illuminated, washed the ground with hundreds of beams of light.
Cllr Neil Hopkins, Chair of South Swindon’ Parish Council’s Leisure, Environment and Amenities Committee said: “After taking on Town Gardens around two years ago, the Parish Council has invested heavily to bring the park back to a high standard and this process is ongoing. With such wonderful community assets, our Parish Council has been forward-thinking in looking for ways to use Town Gardens to generate revenues to reinvest in the facilities including the refurbishment of the 1936 art deco concert bowl.
“In June this year, I presented the proposal for a light trail to our Parish councillors who felt that this would bring a great new outdoor, and therefore safe, event to Town Gardens. I am delighted that the Enchanted Gardens Light Trail has been enjoyed whilst showing the best of Swindon and our Parish.”
To further support the local community, the Enchanted Gardens Light Trail proudly partnered with local charity Brighter Futures, the Trust charity for Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust who provide care to around 1.2million contacts every year from across Swindon and Wiltshire. Brighter Futures support the Trust by funding equipment, supporting education of staff, and improving the environment for all staff and patients.
As part of the event partnership, £1 from every ticket sold was donated to the charity as well as the charity having a stand at the event each evening.
Cllr Hopkins added: “Councillors wanted to support a great local health service-related charity this year – Brighter Futures – and I am delighted that we have raised nearly £25,000 directly and provided an opportunity for them through their stall to raise over £4,000 towards their work. South Swindon Parish Council will be discussing whether to make this a regular annual event.”
Kenresa Stratford, Community and Events Fundraising Manager for Brighter Futures said: “Working in partnership with South Swindon Parish Council as a beneficiary for this wonderful event has been a real privilege. We raised over £4,000 from those visiting to buy raffle tickets and stocking fillers from us. The light trail really brought some magic to the end of what was another uncertain year for us all and receiving over £24,000 from the ticket sales for the trail is marvellous.”
Ms Stratford added: “We’re really grateful to South Swindon Parish council for choosing us as their charity beneficiary for Enchanted Gardens Light Trail and want to thank everyone who attended and got behind this new and exciting event in Swindon.”
The Enchanted Gardens Light Trail is one of a range of events organised by the South Swindon Parish Council in the Town Gardens. Check out 2022 Theatre at the Bowl programme and the My Dad is Bigger Than Your Dad music festival.
We Are Swindon were proud to help promote the event to thousands of our supporters.
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Town Gardens Christmas lights are currently the talk of the town! It will be lit up this Christmas with the introduction of a brand-new illuminated trail running throughout December – The Enchanted Gardens Light Trail.
From December 2 to December 31, a 1.5km-long outdoor lighting trail will transform Town Gardens into a spectacle of light, specially designed by Light Art Pioneers, Luminism and hosted by South Swindon Parish Council.
State-of-the-art lighting effects will be installed throughout the Victorian Gardens, allowing visitors to wander through a magical backdrop of illuminated trees and heritage structures, discovering a trail of remarkable light art sculptures, low-level soundscapes, interactive illuminations, and a specially commissioned light show set in the historic Bowl.
Tickets and fundraising for Brighter Futures Swindon.
Tickets are available via the event ticketing partner, Skiddle, with slots available from 5.20pm-8.40pm (and some later slots on Friday and Saturday evenings). The event will run daily with the exception of Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
To find out more about Brighter Futures and the great work that they do for the people of Swindon visit their Showcase page in our Charity Hub.
Tickets will be priced at £5.50 for children (aged 5-17 years) and £10.50 for adults. Under 4’s and carers/assistants may attend free of charge with a paying ticket holder. Booking fees will apply.
The Enchanted Gardens Light Trail has proudly partnered with local charity Brighter Futures, which helps the people of Swindon by supporting the services within the Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. The NHS Foundation Trust aim is to provide the best care possible. Brighter Futures help them to do this by funding the purchasing of equipment, supporting the education of staff, and improving the environment for all staff and patients.
As part of the event partnership, £1 from every ticket sold will be donated to the charity.
The historic Town Gardens.
Located within Old Town, Swindon, were laid out in the late 19th and early 20th Century on the undulating Okus Field, the site of old Purbeck stone quarries. There are a number of historic points throughout the Gardens including the 1930’s Art Deco Concert Bowl, the iconic Bandstand, The Aviary, and The Rose Garden.
For more about our wonderful Town Garden, Swindon click here.
Thank you from Swindon Parish Council.
In response to the challenging times people across the area have faced during the pandemic, Swindon Parish Council wants to say thank you to their residents for their efforts and ensure that the people of Swindon and surrounding areas have something positive to look forward to this festive season. Their hope is the illuminated walk will bring light to the gardens at a time when they are traditionally not frequented.
As part of the illuminations, selected local schools have been invited to be a part of the event by helping to create one of the light art sculptures to be located at The Bandstand called ‘Reflections of Swindon’.
There will be a limited number of tickets available for the Enchanted Gardens Light Trail, with allocated time slots every 20 minutes. Tickets will be available predominantly online with a limited number available on the day at the Box Office located at the entrance to the trail. The Town Gardens will remain freely accessible to the public as normal during its winter opening hours and close each evening at 4.30pm to allow the illuminated trail to open.
“After a difficult 18 months for so many people, we are very excited to host Swindon’s first-ever light trail, creating a new opportunity for family and friends to come together and celebrate in ways they were unable to do so in 2020. Having seen what Luminism has delivered in other areas of the country, I know this illuminated trail will be second to none. We look forward to welcoming the residents of Swindon and beyond to this exciting new event.”
Councillor Neil Hopkins, Chair of Leisure, Environment & Amenities for South Swindon Parish Council.
“We’re delighted to be working alongside South Swindon Parish Council to deliver this exciting new project. The Town Garden, with its high trees and heritage structures, is a beautiful setting for an illuminated trail. We’re looking forward to bringing our designs to life this Christmas.”
Tom Chennells, Managing Director for Light Art Pioneers, Luminism.
“Brighter Futures are delighted to be chosen as the charity beneficiary for this exciting new event, one which will be an exciting addition to the town’s festive calendar. We can’t wait to see the Town Gardens come alive in the evenings during this festive period. After the last 18 months, where our charity events haven’t been able to go ahead, we’re really looking forward to getting back out into the community and being a part of Swindon’s first-ever light trail.”
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