City of lights: we're going- are you?
Published: Nov 17, 2017Event coordinator Zoe reveals some secrets about the Zoo's lanterns for this years City of Lights
City of Lights: We’re going - are you?
This year Newquay Zoo is delighted to announce their involvement in ‘City of Lights’- an annual community light procession which takes place in the Cornish capital of Truro. For those of you who haven’t been before, City of Lights is the county’s official start to the festive season - and it’s quite the spectacle. This FREE community event will see lanterns of all shapes and sizes paraded through the cobbled streets, combined with vendors selling mulled wine and roasted chestnuts and a crisp chill in the air, it truly is the festive treat we’ve all been waiting for.
On Wednesday 31st January our three zoos will be unveiling their lanterns, which have been commissioned as part of the 21st annual City of Lights procession.
Created by the talented Jill Hudson, each of the lanterns has been designed to represent one of our three sites: Paignton Zoo, Newquay Zoo and Living Coasts. Jill has been an artist for the project for nearly 10 years, so we are delighted to be working with her.
City of Lights, first established in 1996, is an excellent community project which we, collectively, are delighted to be involved in. With an audience of 30,000 people congregating in the streets of Truro each year, the event has become an excellent demonstration of locals schools, sponsors and institutions coming together to create an evening of enjoyment for all ages.
Although we are keeping the lanterns a surprise before next week’s big reveal, we thought we’d give you an overview of how they came to be created.
We first met with the City of Lights team back in August to discuss how best to represent our three zoos: should it be with one large lantern, or three smaller ones? And what design or designs? I can reveal that we decided to make a lantern for each of our three sites, but unfortunately that’s all I can say… Make sure you join us in Truro at City of Lights to see just what we came up with!
Ready, set, make
After we came up with some initial designs, it was down to master creator Jill Hudson to make our dream a reality.
Starting with the lantern for Paignton Zoo, Jill gradually constructed each of our beautiful lanterns from willow, bamboo cane and greaseproof paper making sure they were mobile and had the ability to move, as many of the lanterns will be interacting with the public during the parade. Jill’s next job was to give them light using LED’s and a 12v rechargeable battery. Suddenly, our lovely lanterns were brought to life – and Jill was a bit more successful than Dr Frankenstein, I might add - they are rather wonderful!
We like to move it, move it
After Jill had finished working her magic, it was down to the teams. It will take a full team of 7 to manoeuvre our magnificent lanterns and to ensure none of us did anything to cause them injury, Jill needed a session teaching us how best to carry them. Let’s hope we get it right on the night! With Jill at the helm I’m sure there’s nothing we can’t do…
Alongside City of Lights in Truro, the lanterns will also be taking part in processions in Paignton and Brixham, as well as a trail which will take place in Torquay in early December.
After their participation in these various events, the lanterns will return to the zoos, where they will remain on display for the remainder of the festive season.