Festive Derby is full of the traditional Christmas Trees and lights – but look a little more closely and you will find some unusual seasonal sights to enjoy.
Derby City Council has joined with QUAD to bring some new lighting illuminations to the city. Visitors to Derby Market Place may have already spotted snowflake illuminations sweeping across the square and onto the walls of the Guildhall during the day and into the evening, thanks to the technical team at Derby LIVE. And from Tue 8 Dec, the spirit of Christmas will light up the landmark Derby Cathedral Tower.
QUAD’s in-house technical team, TECH:SQUAD, are producing and engaging an innovative light spectacular on the iconic Derby Cathedral tower, celebrating Festive Derby. Using hi-tech projectors, a light show will be projected onto the clock face and surrounding area of the tower from 5pm to 9pm each evening.
Dr Alex Rock, QUAD’s Head of Technical and Commercial Services, said: "It has been a number of years since QUAD produced a projection mapping show on Derby Cathedral's tower, and we're delighted to work alongside our partners Derby City Council to produce a winter spectacular as part of Festive Derby. The projection is vibrant, and a great reminder of the power of digital technology to engage and inspire."
The second Festive Market runs from Thu 10 to Sun 13 Dec in Derby Market Place, for some unique Christmas presents produced and sold by local businesses. Wooden chalets decorated with lights make up the stalls for the market, which is free to enter. Before you go in, take a look at the hoardings around them, which have been decorated with seasonal street art by local artists curated by Baby People. Trading hours are 10am to 4pm. Warming hot drinks, cakes and sweet treats will be served by the QUAD café, while The Tipsy Trotter will sell mouth-watering Turkey Rolls and Brie with Cranberry rolls and Project D will be selling their renowned, delicious doughnuts.
From the Market Place, it’s just a short walk under the Guildhall arches to meet the independent traders and enjoy the seasonal atmosphere and displays inside Derby Market Hall. Open from Mon to Sat, 9am to 5pm, the Market Hall is COVID safe and packed with great gift ideas and fresh produce, from fabulous footwear, butchers and bikes, to fishmongers, flowers, fruit and veg. For more information, see derbymarkethall.co.uk. This is also where you’ll find one of two new art installations, created by local artists working with the University of Derby and Banks Mill – the other is on The Strand, outside Derby Museum.
In Cathedral Square, ice sculptors will be at work from 11am to 4pm on Fri 11 and Sat 12 Dec. Watch their progress as they carve a block of ice into Christmas-themed designs including an elf, a robin, an angel and a sledge, which will last as long as nature allows. Ice-carving is a slow process so if the area is busy, please enjoy some of the other Festive Derby attractions on offer and come back later. To ensure everyone’s safety, Derby LIVE staff will be on hand to ensure that crowds do not gather around the sculptors as they work.
Inside the Cathedral is the Tree of Light, a Christmas Tree hung with messages of love, hope or memory to mark this special time of year. Write something to add to the tree, or go to derbycathedral.org to send it online, and help fill the tree with messages.
Also around the city this weekend, watch out for street performers Maynard Flip Flap’s Man in a Christmas Present on Sat 12 Dec. Create your own souvenir of this Christmas by taking a photo at one of the Selfie Boards at The Spot, Market Place, or East Street (outside Millets), and share it on social media with #FestiveDerby.
For a full list of what’s on offer for Festive Derby, see visitderby.co.uk/festivederby.