National Coal Mining Museum are preparing to Light Up the site and ring in the festive season with a bumper weekend of light displays, brass band and choir performances, crafts and storytelling, an unmissable lantern parade and of course, welcoming Santa to his underground grotto!
Part of the district’s wider Light Up festival and supported with funding by Wakefield Council, NCMME’s Illumine: Light Up event will take place over the weekend of Friday 24 – Sunday 26 November and is free to attend, with no booking required (tickets bookable for Santa Underground) and free parking.
The historical colliery buildings will be transformed with magical lighting each evening following the Friday launch event, allowing visitors to see the Museum after dark like never before. Families can also follow a light trail to uncover a story around each of the Museum buildings.
The launch event will mark the arrival of Santa who visits the Museum annually to collect coal for any naughty children. There will be a chance to meet and take photos with Santa on Friday evening, before the grotto experience opens on Saturday and Sunday (running weekends and the final week up to Christmas).
Holmfirth’s Hade Edge Brass Band will be delighting visitors throughout the weekend, providing traditional coal mining entertainment in the most apt and festive of surroundings. Storytelling from living history characters will enchant families with a tale of how Finn, the Museum’s Clydesdale horse, saved Christmas and take visitors back to a 1940s Christmas. Throughout the weekend families can get crafty at Makers’ Shed to make their own lanterns before taking their place in the parade on Sunday.
The lantern parade, led by Hade Edge Brass Band, will see a cavalcade of bright and colourful characters created by the local community from a series of outreach workshops and hands on sessions at the Museum. Neighbouring schools and uniform groups are among those who have been involved in creating lanterns using sustainable materials such as willow and recycled plastic milk bottles. Everyone who has contributed has been invited back to join the procession with members of the public in this truly unmissable event. A very special fire performance by Bradford’s Cecil Green Arts will close the festival.
This magical weekend will kick off the Christmas season in style at the Museum with plenty of festive fun for all ages. Delicious food and drink will be available to get visitors in the mood along with Christmas gift ideas in the Museum’s shop.
Lynn Dunning, CEO, said: “We cannot wait to Light Up NCMME in style this November. Our heritage buildings will be transformed over the weekend into a winter wonderland with the unmistakable sound of brass bands to really get visitors into the festive spirit. This is a real community event accumulating in a truly one-of-a-kind lantern parade and we look forward to welcoming everyone.”