THOUSANDS descended on Crewe for another spectacular night of entertainment marking the launch of another dazzling Lumen lights campaign.
It proved a night to remember for families from South Cheshire and beyond who flocked to the town centre to see the new projection show unveiled on Municipal Buildings where it can be seen every night to December 27.
Many ‘camped out’ early in the afternoon to get a good spot on Memorial Square and there were gasps of delight as Lumen burst into colour, casting a glow over the town centre and into the night sky.
Highlights of the evening also included a stunning lantern parade, colourful funfair, Cat Community Radio music stage, winter food and craft market, fireworks and jaw-dropping displays by a performer suspended over the heads of crowds from a giant helium balloon.
Lumen was hailed another huge success by organisers Crewe Town Council as it works to rebrand the town as a great place to visit where a warm-hearted welcome awaits visiting families.
Crewe Mayor Benn Minshall said: “I am proud to see Crewe host such a huge scale event - which is only in its second year - and it was quite the night to remember.
"Lumen is a major month-long investment by Crewe Town Council to attract local residents and visitors; as well as supporting businesses and our local economy."
He added: "I hear the things that people say about our town. I read the comments that people write online. But what I would say is that events such as Lumen prove the strength, commitment and tenacity that we all share to see our town thrive and succeed once again.
"I would like to thank all those who made it such a truly special event - our main sponsors, Apollo Buckingham Health Science Campus and our Crewe Town Council Team - but most of all the artists, performers and people who attended.”
Lumen also helped to set tills ringing. Starbucks doubled its average transactions – 362 by 6.45pm – and the new owner of Earle Street take-away, Marcia Blake, served more than 500 people. There was a queue out of the door for fish and chips and the café buzzed.
She said: “We stayed open late for the BBC Children in Need Rickshaw Challenge visit, again a very busy night. It shows people will come and support their town. Well done to Crewe Town Council for giving them another great night.”
There was heaps of praise from parents. Hungerford Primary Academy teaching assistant Carly Hassall attending with her daughter, Madison, 11, said: “We arrived in the afternoon to get a good spot and already the town was busy. There seemed even more people this year. I’m thrilled for Crewe because we like to support our town.”
Crewe mum Chloe Marsh rushed from work at Bedazzled nail bar in Nantwich to enjoy the night with her two children. “We ended up dancing on the Cat stage. The town was buzzing – not a night we will forget,” she said.
Grand Junction Hobbycraft store worker Erica Freeman decorated her baby’s pram with fairy lights for the night. She said: “There was such a lovely atmosphere with so many young families chatting to one another and remarking on the pram. ”
Visiting from Stoke, Carole Moran said: “We have a lights switch on in Stoke, but nothing like Lumen. I’ve heard a lot about the demise of Crewe, but it’s people that make a town, not shops.”
Despite hustle and bustle, Crewe people demonstrated how they look out for one another. They parted to make way for mums and prams and helped wheelchair users to the front of the crowd
Festive spirit was everywhere and their warmth took the edge off a bitterly cold night.
The new Lumen projection can be seen every night on Municipal Buildings from 5-10pm until December 27.
Families can also enjoy a Victorian Christmas Market by Ministry of Steampunk on Lyceum Square and at Crewe Heritage Centre over the weekend, December 7-8, and winter-themed interactive light and sound installations, Lumen Lite on Memorial Square, December 14.
Photo Credits Peter Robinson