Lighting the way to Lancashire Encounter celebrations

Celebrations: Dancing at a street festival

Celebrations: Dancing at a street festival

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Leaders behind the Flame Festival at the London 2012 Paralympic Games have been chosen to create the Procession of Light at this year’s Lancashire Encounter.

Promising a unique and creative celebration, Big Difference Company has been awarded the contract to produce the parade, with ambitious ideas for the highlight of the weekend.

Last year's Lancashire Encounter

Last year's Lancashire Encounter

Building on the tradition of the Preston Guild torchlight procession, the Procession of Light has been designed to bring together communities, organisations and businesses from across the county and showcase the region’s diversity, creativity and innovation.

Geoff Rowe, chief executive of Big Difference Company, said: “We’re really excited to be working with the team in Preston and the wider Lancashire community.

“Building on the great enthusiasm and making that went into the Guild processions, we are keen to create a unique Procession of Light for Lancashire.”

The mission of the company is to “produce and deliver ambitious festivals and projects which improve social, economic and cultural wellbeing”, and they have been appointed to produce the “dynamic and creative” procession.

Photo Neil Cross
Lancashire Encounter in Preston city centre
Chinese Dragon

Photo Neil Cross Lancashire Encounter in Preston city centre Chinese Dragon

Big Difference Company is proposing to take inspiration from the “steampunk” movement, to encourage participation with its DIY spirit.

It also wants to bring together old and new technology to celebrate Lancashire’s industrial heritage and creative imagination - from jet engines and cogs to gas light and illumination.

The organisation has previously produced events including the public event for the re-interment of King Richard III, the Flame Festival for the 2012 London Paralympic Games and the annual Leicester Comedy Festival.

Coun Peter Kelly, Preston Council’s cabinet member for culture and leisure services, said: “This is a really exciting opportunity for Preston to welcome groups from across Lancashire to celebrate creativity from around the region.

“I cannot wait to see the end result.”

There will be a series of workshops held to encourage individuals and groups to get involved.

Preston Council is currently encouraging businesses and community groups to register an interest to get involved online.

Lancashire Encounter will run from September 23 to 25 September, transforming Preston city centre into a vibrant hub of activity, with giant red canopies stretching across different venues.