AN HISTORIC event could be returning to Leamington after 60 years.
BID Leamington has secured funding to conduct a study into reviving the Lights of Leamington festival.
The festival ran in Jephson Gardens in July and August from 1951 for a decade. It saw the park and its trees lit in a rainbow of colour, including installations like magical animals, characters from fairy tales and city skylines.
There were also clowns and puppets, an open-air ballet, and food and drink stalls run by local businesses which brought hundreds of thousands of visitors to Leamington.
A steering group has now been created which will be conducting a feasibility study in conjunction with Curated Place, an award-winning creative arts production company, to explore how the festival could be brought back with a renewed purpose for the businesses, communities and people of Leamington.
Research from a new steering group and arts company Curated Place, will consider funding, what the modern-day festival could look like, delivery and how its return might be perceived.
As part of this, those who attended or worked at the original event are being encouraged to share their memories of Lights of Leamington.
BID executive director Stephanie Kerr said: “We were thrilled to receive a research grant from Arts Council England to see if it is possible to bring Lights of Leamington back.
“The approach of the BID is to help make the town centre a community centre, so we want to make sure the community is meaningfully involved in shaping the idea.
“We want to gauge interest and support and find out everything from what people would like to see and how it could be delivered, to the time of year they think it should take place.
“Our hope is to reinvent the festival for a new generation, embracing new technologies while reflecting its history, and we are very excited to be working with Curated Place, who bring considerable experience and expertise.”
Residents, businesses and community groups across Leamington can sign up for workshops to join the challenge of making the festival fit for the 21st century.
Anyone who would like to contribute can visit www.lightsofleamington.co.uk to register their interest.