In November 2008, Fusion Arts placed community artists within local schools to work with pupils to create an array of festive lanterns for the WinterLight Festival procession in Bonn Square.
Now known as the ‘Christmas Light Festival’, WinterLight festival took place from mid-November to early January across Oxfordshire and brought a host of winter events to the city and county, incorporating luminous displays of candlelight, fire and illuminations. One of the highlights of Oxford’s WinterLight in 2008 was a spectacular outdoor event that celebrated the reopening of Bonn Square in central Oxford, featuring live music, street theatre and dance performances.
The wonderful French brass band Les Grooms created a special musical fanfare that brought the new square to life, followed by an illuminated procession through the city centre featuring giant lanterns, schools groups and live musicians. Rounding off the festival procession was a street theatre performance by pyrotechnic company Walk the Plank, who transformed Broad Street with ‘awe and wonder’ with space theme, heralding the start of the International Year of Astronomy 2009. The festival also marked the much-anticipated city switch-on of the Christmas Lights and the Christmas Tree in Broad Street.
WinterLight Oxford 2008 was supported by Arts Council England, Oxford City Council, Berman Guedes Stretton, First Great Western, Oxford Bus Company, Oxfordshire County Council and The Big Bang.