Crowds enjoyed a carnival atmosphere in Historic Harwich for this year’s Illuminate Festival.
An estimated 6,000 packed the town’s streets for the projections, performers, and procession as Harwich was lit up to celebrate its history and community.
The event, run by Tendring District Council (TDC), began in earnest with an aerial display by the Firebirds above the estuary as the sun set – followed by a performance by Spark! drummers as the torch-lit procession formed up.
Rallied by a performance from Harwich Sing, and a welcome from the town crier Richard Bench, the procession – which included colourful sea creatures created by local school children – paraded around the old town.
Throughout the event street entertainment, ranging from the hula-hooping Harley and light gliders, to stilt walkers and cloud travellers, engaged the crowds alongside further performances from Harwich Sing, Spark! and Glow-Robics.
Alex Porter, TDC Cabinet Member for Leisure and Tourism, said Illuminate Festival kick-started a year of fun events across the district.
“As befits a celebration of Historic Harwich there was a wonderful atmosphere at Illuminate Festival, whether it was people coming together to enjoy performances or the amazing lanterns by local schoolchildren,” Councillor Porter said.
“The colours, lights and projections never cease to amaze me, and this event really lit up the town and brought a feeling of fun to the town.
“Our huge thanks go to all of our partners – including the Harwich Festival, Harwich Haven Authority, MRL Productions, the Grand Theatre of Lemmings and Motion Mapping – without whom the event would not have been a success.”
Commentary at the event was provided by popular BBC Essex presenters Steve Scruton and Ian Wyatt.