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Work underway on installing Diwali lights

Published on Tuesday, September 27, 2016

THOUSANDS of festive lights and street decorations are being put in place along Leicester’s Golden Mile ahead of the city’s breath-taking Diwali celebrations next month.

Lighting engineers from Leicester City Council have begun the process of installing about 4,800 coloured LED bulbs along the full length of Belgrave Road ahead of the festivities.

In addition, another 1,200 LED bulbs are being put in place as part of the spectacular 10-metre wide ‘Happy Diwali’ illuminated archway, which made its debut in 2015 as part of the expanded Diwali decorations.

 The ‘Happy Diwali’ illuminated archway stands near the Belgrave roundabout to welcome visitors to the Golden Mile.

About 35,000 people are expected to gather on the Golden Mile to see the illuminations turned on at the annual Diwali Lights Switch-on celebrations, which will take place on Sunday, October 16.

For the first time this year, the switch-on event will also feature two breath-taking new displays as part of the new Diwali Village on Cossington Street Recreation Ground.

Ocean Of Light will include an evocative outdoor installation featuring thousands of lights suspended in space, while Colours of Radiance will see a dazzling light show using LED umbrellas to create moving rangoli patterns.

Leicester’s Diwali celebrations are the biggest outside of India, with around 35,000 visitors attending the two main events – the Diwali lights switch-on, and Diwali Day itself, which takes place on Sunday, October 30.

Both events will also feature aerial firework displays high in the skies above the Golden Mile.

This year’s celebrations include a two-week programme of events, running from Friday, October 14, to Sunday, October 30, and will include the return of the spectacular 110-foot Ferris wheel taking visitors high above the Golden Mile. 

Other attractions across the two-week festival include a new exhibition at New Walk Museum, a Mela Bazaar and a family day at the Curve Theatre.

Leicester assistant city mayor for culture, leisure and sport, Cllr Piara Singh Clair, said: “We extended the Diwali decorations last year and included the ‘Happy Diwali’ lights for the first time, and the result looked fantastic.

“The lights are an essential part of creating the festive atmosphere of Diwali, and a lot of hard work goes into ensuring they are looking their best for the celebrations.

“The Diwali Lights Switch-On event is always hugely popular, the is first chance visitors get to see the illuminations in all their glory.”

A brochure giving details of all the Diwali 2016 events is due to be published later this month.