Street performers, dancers and artists will chase the darkness away at this free festival, organised by First Art, the local arts charity behind The Full Shebang Festival in Mansfield, with a range of fun acts and installations in Sutton-in-Ashfield on Friday, February 11, and Saturday, February 12.
Events will take place in locations across the town, including Portland Square, Sutton Market North Car Park, Idlewells Shopping Centre, Low Street, Sutton Community Academy and Regency Dance Centre.
Among the displays will be Dundu, a 5m-tall illuminated puppet: this gentle giant will launch the event on Friday night with a lantern procession with local schoolchildren, before gliding to other spots throughout the evening to interact with audiences.
Glow-in-the-dark drummers Spark! will offer a magical live music, movement, and light spectacular featuring their trademark high-intensity drumming on Friday night.
Head to Sutton Community Academy on Friday and Saturday to meet Luma, the 8m-long inflatable robot snail who looms above visitors with a presence which is gentle, welcoming and otherworldly. Mimic a pollinating insect, moving from flower to flower, at Idlewells Shopping Centre with The Nectary that features six giant flowerheads you can immerse yourself in, or check out the Big Knitting outside the venue, where drainpipes become knitting needles for some enormous wool work!
"The festival is based around themes of love and unity, and offers a way to see your home town from a completely different perspective," says First Art's Marketing and Audience Development Manager Kate Learmouth.
"We've been bowled over by the response since we announced the festival before Christmas – it seems that people really want to experience something new and different.
"We have secured some great national and international acts and can promise two nights packed with light and laughter and excitement, all of which is completely free."
A specially choreographed show, working with professional dancers and schools, will take place on Saturday night in collaboration with the Regency Dance Centre for the Neon Ballroom. And the Invisible Man from Altered States will be making an unmissable appearance (or will he?) on both nights.
Other moments to enjoy will include The Light Cycle, a bike-powered projector by Urban Projections which will feature works from Ashfield Arts Festival, a silent disco with Silent Noize and fantastic glow-in-the-dark doodle sessions with Dizzy Ink.
"We are really looking forward to our first big event here in Ashfield and offering residents the chance to get inspired right here on their doorsteps," says Kate, adding that if the event is a success, First Art hopes it could become a regular fixture.
"We want to showcase world-class art and inspire local people and partners to work with us on similar type of events in the future."
For full details and timings, visit https://firstart.org.uk/whats_on/lightnightashfield/