A GIANT light spectacular will take over Chavasse Park at Liverpool ONE as the city officially marks the start of Christmas.
Polaris; Dare to Dream is launching on 16 November and has been developed especially for the city’s Christmas celebrations by artist, Mark Robinson.
The impressive light installation is designed to represent the famous pillars of Liverpool’s culture; the people, music, art, trade, education and sport. The spectacle is being created using 96 colour changing cubes, each weighing 65kgs and containing computer-controlled LED lights.
Mark said: “Every time people visit, whether it is day, dusk or evening, there will be something different to see. The exhibit is inspired by the brightest star in the constellation. It is designed to show how far and wide Liverpool’s culture has spread. It has been wonderful creating such a unique piece for the city.”
Liverpool Culture Director, Claire McColgan, added: “2018 has been another extraordinary year for culture in Liverpool. The fact that Liverpool ONE has chosen to commission such a bold original work to mark their Christmas celebrations shows how they embrace that love of culture and creative ambition as keenly as anyone in the city.
“Liverpool ONE always delivers a brilliant atmosphere at Christmas and I think Polaris will help to take this to the next level.”
Liverpool ONE has also formed a partnership with the NSPCC this year as part of their Light for Every Childhood Christmas appeal. Liverpool ONE hopes to help raise funds and awareness for this very worthy cause across the festive period.
This partnership will also officially launch on 16 November to a back-drop of a 250-strong choir, PopVox, who will gather on Sugar House steps near John Lewis to entertain visitors.
At the same time, a festive street party will take place across Liverpool ONE, between 4pm and 8pm.
What is believed to be the UK’s largest Christmas tree, towering 30-metres tall on Paradise Street, will already be illuminated in preparation for the festive street party.
The alpine-inspired carol-oke venue, Bar Hutte, will once again return and will be located beneath the tree offering live music and festive cocktails.
A piano-playing Santa, walkabout festive character performances and pop-up pantomime previews including Unity Theatre, The Epstein and ECHO Arena, will all add to the festivities between 4pm and 8pm on the day.
The Voice Kids 2018 contestant, Astrid, nine, is also expected to make an appearance during the event.
New for this year there is the ultimate selfie spot in the form of an extra special taxi – the festive, interactive booth will offer shoppers the opportunity to test just how Christmassy (or not!) they are …. Are you Liverpool’s most festive family? Or are you the city’s biggest Bah Humbug?
Friday 16th’s street party also signifies the start of the biggest festive entertainment programme ever staged at Liverpool ONE in the lead up to Christmas Day, with something happening at the estate every single weekend throughout November and December.
Donna Howitt, Marketing Director at Liverpool ONE, said: “We are really looking forward to lighting up as many Christmases as possible this year at Liverpool ONE.
“Our partnership with the NSPCC will help us to achieve this and we look forward to welcoming a whole variety of choirs and singers throughout the festive period who will help to raise much needed funds for the NSPCC operating from the Hargreaves Centre in Liverpool.
“We have some amazing activity planned this festive season with performances from local pantomime stars, through to a piano playing Santa and of course the impressive lighting display on Chavasse Park.
“We are renowned at Liverpool ONE for providing a great experience and plenty of entertainment for all of our visitors, and often have something new and exciting every time people visit. This Christmas will be no different with entertainment and excitement literally popping up around every street corner.”
Janette Drew, Community Fundraising Manager for the NSPCC added: “We are delighted that Liverpool ONE has chosen to support us in shining a light for every childhood across Merseyside this year.
“We hope to encourage as many school and community choirs as possible to show off their talents and entertain Christmas shoppers. Every penny donated will go towards helping to protect children across the Liverpool region.
“We know that one in 10 children in the UK have been neglected. And, for a child who’s being neglected, Christmas is yet another cold, dark and lonely time. Hopefully with the support from thousands of local school children, shoppers and diners, we can help to turn their lives around.”
NSPCC special edition Christmas tree decorations, pin badges and bracelets will be on sale at the Liverpool ONE Information Centre in Wall Street and also from selected stores across the festive season. Bar Hutte will donate 10p from every soft drink sold during the festive period.
Further details are available from: www.liverpool-one.com/christmas
Polaris – Dare to Dream – will be open from November 16 until January 6. It is free and will be lit 24 hours a day with the best views after dusk and at night.