For some time now, Nottingham has had a reputation for violence, especially at the weekends. Being a city with two universities and a cosmopolitan population, combined with the influx of stag and hen parties, the melting pot can occasionally bubble over.
Last year I posted on Nottingham's Light Night, details of which can be found here. Like many councils, knowing when they are onto a good thing, decided to make this year's event a two night affair. The overall objective of the Light Night is to try and get all age groups into the city centre at night.
Many of the city's restaurants had special offers on to entice people through their door, along with various guided walks around the town, ranging from an historical tour to Ezekial Bone's Guts and Gore Tour. St Mary's Church, in the Lace Market area of the city, had a choral evening. We listened to a part of this but were sat too close to the tea and biscuit area so the enjoyment was lost in someone's digestive.
But I'm getting ahead of myself here. Walking down Long Row towards the Old Market Square, the scene is set with the return of the pyramids and Nottingham Wheel. This has had a new name as the word "Eye" is reserved for the London Eye. London does not appear in Nottingham Eye, so being as I'm only a simple bear, cannot understand why certain organisations get so worked up over a little word.
Once again the Council Office was open for all to have a look around. We ventured in last year during Nottingham's Big Night Out, another event, started by BBC Radio Nottingham's breakfast show host, Andy Whittaker.
We proceeded down to the Congregational Hall, on Castle Gate, where I met this friendly dragon.
To prove that he was friendly I did my variation of a lion tamer in a circus.
Outside the hall was the starting point for the Goddess Parade and we watched people in their final minutes of preparation for a while. One of these was a young lady with her Fire And Ice puppet. Her mother, who can be seen in the foreground in the picture below, proudly told us that her daughter had made the puppet herself. Thanks to the power of email and Internet, kelliiexuk passed on the following information:
A group of people (7 ) at my school -Big Wood- Made it along with assistance from city arts. They ran a workshop first to give people a taster of what this prodject would be like. From that, a few people stepped in to take on the challange. The puppets 'skeletal' frame was built by willow, with a covering of glue and tissue paper, along with the decorations. It was lit by L.E.D pop-in lights which were added last thing. The legs were tied around my ankles and the arms were supported by polls.
I filmed kelliiexuk setting off on her parade walk before watching a student troupe doing some street entertainment before running up to Low Pavement to capture other parade entrants.
Meandering our way over to the Trip To Jerusalem we stopped off to watch some slides being projected onto the castle wall, complete with a quadraphonic soundtrack. I would like to say that this was produced for the Nottingham Light Night, however it had already been used in York. Down at The Trip the Morris dancing was in full flow and we had a quick chat with Mike from the Dolphin Morris .
Walking back up Castle Road and into Nottingham Castle grounds we were just in time to watch our council tax go up in colourful smoke.
This was done on the hour throughout the evening to the enjoyment of many.
The evening was really beginning to chill down, so, across town we traped to previously mentioned St Mary's, situated in the Lace Market area of Nottingham, after which it was back to the Market Square to catch a few tunes from local band, Wholesome Fish.
Leaving The Square behind us to head for Exchange Arcade, situated at the back of the Council House, we almost literally bumped into an old friend from last year, so we stayed and watched him make acquaintances with a group of people.
Upon entering the Arcade, the Sinfonia Chorale were in full voice with their voices dancing around due to the superb acoustics inside the small setting.
Heading up Long Row and back towards our parked car we were pleased to see the Dukesbox back in town.
As you can see, the Dukes had quite a large audience and were keeping them entertained with Zeppelin, Madonna, Elvis Costello and Vanilla Ice (remember him?) covers.
Our last stop was after we caught up with the Motoring Nun.
She? was riding round on an electric piano and stopped briefly to have a jamming session with a late night busker. I managed to capture part of this on my video below.
And so endith our Light Night, thank you Sister for the send off.
The images below show all the events that were happening over the event. Other towns and cities throughout the United Kingdom are now hosting similar events. Click here to find out if there is one near you.
Here's looking forward to 2011.
Finally, once again, I must thank Guzzisue for the use of her photographs as Ian and myself were far too busy trying to use the video and keep our hands/paws warm.