Croydon’s Christmas celebrations will take on a spectacular new look this year with a stunning series of giant visual displays lighting up the town centre.
‘Croydon’s Festive Fantasia’ will be the dazzling centrepiece of the town’s 2017 Christmas celebrations and will feature six specially commissioned films showcasing the talents of local performers. These will be projected up to 120 feet in height onto three key sites in North End and High Street throughout the duration of the festive period. Produced by 3D projection mapping specialists, Double Take Projections, the five-minute long animations embrace the twin themes of ‘light’ and ‘celebration’. They include performances by ballerina and Royal Ballet dancer Tara-Brigette Bhavnani, Indian dance artist and artistic director Malti Patel, critically-acclaimed street theatre specialists, The Human Zoo Theatre Company, and Croydon-based dance company SLiDE, which works to give people of all ages and abilities the opportunity to dance. Tara, pictured above, was 37 weeks pregnant when being filmed for the project.
The first in the series of animations will première in North End at 5pm on Saturday, 18 November and will be the highlight of an afternoon of free family entertainment being staged from mid-day. Thereafter, the animations will be broadcast daily between 4.30pm and 9.30pm until Saturday, 23 December, providing a spectacular backdrop for everything that Croydon has to offer.
Councillor Tony Newman, Leader of the Council, said: “As London’s growth borough Croydon is changing dramatically, and that change is set to continue for the next few years as we experience the largest level of investment the town has ever seen. So it’s only fitting that we look at new ways of celebrating this time of the year, and this programme of projections and entertainment looks amazing.”
The main highlights of the ‘Festive Fantasia programme are:
- A ‘Festive Lights Street Feast’ on Thursday, 16 November with around 20 street food stalls serving up a tasty and exotic array of delights from noon until 7.30pm. Audiences will be entertained between 5pm and 7pm by lively southern blues band, The MonoTones and singer/songwriter McGoozer, as a precursor to the town centre’s Christmas lights being turned on.
- Launch of ‘Festive Fantasia’ on Saturday, 18 November with the first in the series of six giant animations premièring in North End at 5pm. This will provide the highpoint to an afternoon of free family-focused entertainment staged from mid-day which will include: street food stalls, face painting, children’s disco sessions, a giant globe Christmas show with Elvis the Extremely Energetic Elf, roving Fire and Ice-themed stilt walkers plus performances by internationally renowned Polish Folk Song and Dance CompanyKarolinka, the Aspara Arts Asian Dance Group and SalsaMania Croydon.
- Launch of ‘Festive Funk’ on Thursday, 23 November which will be the first of four live music and street food events to be staged from 5pm until 9pm in Croydon’s newly pedestrianised High Street. Featuring London’s top close harmony trio The Haywood Sisters and the fabulous Brass Volcanoes jazz band, the evening promises to be a lively way to bridge the gap between work and play, with three further events also scheduled on the three following Thursdays (30 November, 7 December and 4 December).
“We have decided to break with tradition this year and deliver something that we believe will not only be literally massive but also truly memorable,” commented Croydon BID chief executive Matthew Sims. “Instead of organising just one afternoon of activities to mark the start of the festive season, we are bringing these absolutely stunning giant animations to town and extending our celebrations to embrace the entire five week festive period so that as many people as possible are able to come and enjoy everything that our fantastic town has to offer, while experiencing for themselves these dazzling animations, which simply have to be seen to be believed.”
Paula Murray, Creative Director at Croydon Council added: “This project is a brilliant way of celebrating local talent at the same time as bringing colour and movement to the walls of the town centre. The team putting them together have a huge amount of experience and this will be a real treat for early evening shoppers or those coming out to enjoy Croydon’s nightlife. Our bid to be London’s first Borough of Culture is going in very soon, and these projections are a literal example to show the judges how the arts in Croydon are really ‘looking up’.”
Steven McConnachie, Director at Double Take Projections said: “We are really excited to be so closely involved with Croydon’s Christmas celebrations. To be projecting over such an extended period of time on such a busy high street is a great opportunity for us to showcase what we do. We have got to know Croydon very well over the last year and have come to realise how much amazing artistic talent there is in the area.”
To find out more visit www.checkoutcroydon.com.