Dazzling Derby shines a light on diversity

Fresh from its success in being longlisted for City of Culture 2025, Derby is set to light up this autumn to celebrate the city’s dazzling diversity with a ‘Season of Light’.

From October to December, a series of light-themed family events, featuring cross-cultural experiences and creative workshops, will culminate in a spectacular Lantern Parade through the city centre.

And adding extra sparkle to the ‘Derby Season of Light’ this year, the parade, on 13 November, will coincide with the grand switch on of Derby’s Christmas lights.

During the special series of events, which include lantern making sessions, it will be possible to watch artists create amazing new work, get stuck in making lanterns or Diwali art or take part in the spectacular Lantern Parade.

At the head of November’s parade – which starts at 4pm before weaving its way through the city – will be professional artist Stephanie Sian Coley with her show-stopping lantern sculpture, which she will create at Derby’s Museum of Making on 23 October as part of Assemble: Derby’s Festival of Making

Traditional Dhol drummers will sound the parade, and the procession of lights will end outside the Council House in Derby, where a live stage show will mark the official Christmas lights switch on in the city this year.

Entertainment will start onstage in Corporation Street at 3.30pm, with the show ending with the grand finale of the Christmas lights switch on at 6pm.

Led by Surtal Arts, the ‘Season of Light’ is a close collaboration with cultural partners across Derby and Derbyshire, and as well as lantern making, there will also be ‘Stories of Diwali’ – an immersive dance experience that brings Diwali alive on stage on 5 and 19 November.

The Season will close with ‘Smaran’ (Remembrance), an Indian classical concert on 10 December. Staged at Derby Museum & Arts Gallery, it will feature Kaviraj Singh, one of Europe’s leading young Hindustani musicians, and is dedicated to NHS workers and front-line key workers, as well as those who lost their lives to Covid.

The concert will also be live streamed, so people who are unable to attend in person, can watch it online.

For more details about the Derby Season of Light visit www.visitderby.co.uk/whats-on/events/derby-season-of-light/

For more information about visiting, and staying in, Derby, see www.visitderby.co.uk

Photo: SurtalArts