Building on the popularity of Oxford’s Christmas Light Festival of the last few years, 2022 brings even more events created by artists and residents to locations across the city. From 18th to 20th November the festival uses the theme Illuminating Communities to share light displays, lantern parades, exhibitions, workshops and interactive displays in local neighbourhoods.
This year’s festival will be popping up in new areas as well as lighting up some favourite places. A new interactive LED artwork will be on display at Blackbird Leys Community centre, a dazzling LED light display and live music in Florence Park, lantern parades in Rose Hill, Cutteslowe and West Oxford, light celebrations in Cowley, East Oxford and an 'elf trail' in the city centre. Immersive exhibitions, choirs, performances and Christmas markets with fine foods, gifts and refreshments take place over the whole weekend.
As well as activity in the communities, the city centre will host a variety of festive activities for people to enjoy. A Victorian Market will bring the magic of Christmas traditions to Broad Street, with traders in Victorian costume and traditional gifts and treats on offer. Elves will feature for little explorers on the 'elf trail' and traditional festive lights will brighten the city streets.
Fusion Arts, Film Oxford, IF Oxford and North Wall Arts Centre are working with local artists to host a series of lantern making workshops for schools, community groups and drop-in sessions for family and individuals across the city making lanterns for parades or to light up schools, homes and hubs.
Festival Coordinator Karen Starr says: “More communities are involved in this year’s event than previously and it’s really exciting to see the festival grow and be established more widely across the city. If there are people or organisations who are planning an event or activity for Oxford’s Christmas Light Festival, but haven’t yet let us know, you can still take part. We’re ready to welcome you into the programme.”
Councillor Shaista Aziz, Cabinet Member for Inclusive Communities and Culture says: “Oxford’s Christmas Light Festival is a wonderful example of the way cultural activity can unite people and strengthen our communities. Families can create together, friends can meet up and explore together, whole neighbourhoods can get involved and enjoy being together. The magic of the festival is an opportunity for delight and celebration, and to enjoy every part of our exceptional city.”
"Anyone travelling from outside Oxford can benefit from our new Park & Ride promotion with the bus companies and avoid the Christmas traffic. Kids travel for free on a group ticket, and there are new lower prices for other passengers too. ”
The full programme of events, workshops, trails and activities will be published on the festival website.