With over 1 million light bulbs, 120,000 visitors and 5 marriage proposals,the electrifying Christmas at Bute Park lit up the city centre in itsinaugural year as a festive illumination experience in Cardiff.
As we approach the end of the first month of 2022, Christmas may seem a long time ago but memories from the magical light trail live on for many of Cardiff’s citizens and visitors.
Despite the huge demand for tickets, the event curators, From the Fields, committed to ensuring the enjoyment of the event was shared as widely as possible. They donated over 1,450 tickets to communities, families and residents most impacted by the pandemic through Cardiff Council Play Service’s ‘Big ticket giveaway’, 800 tickets were donated for distribution via Cardiff Foodbank, tickets were gifted to several Cardiff schools and 200 free and 900 discounted tickets were offered through the Winter of Well-being initiative for children and young-people managed by Child Friendly Cardiff. Cardiff Council continues to work with Welsh Government to support the Winter of Well-being and a programme of activities that will be running until March 31, including the February half term, will be coming soon.
Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure, Cllr Peter Bradbury, said:”We’re absolutely delighted that From the Fields were able to bring this magical event to Cardiff.
“Thanks to their very generous donations we were able to help them offer this incredible experience to so many people across the city and bring some much-needed festive cheer after an incredibly difficult couple of years.”
Bibi Taj from Riverside was invited to attend by South Riverside Community Development Centre. She attended with her 3 children (under 3), her sister and her sister’s 5 children between 5 and 14 years, one of whom is disabled.
Bibi said: ”Thanks so much for organising for us to go. It was a magical atmosphere for adults and children alike, and a really nice sensory experience for my sister’s disabled child to be able to take part in, we all enjoyed it very much, my favourite part was the lasers.”
Tahereh Ziaei Kajbaf, from Riverside who was invited via the volunteer-supported, growing company Cardiff Salad Gardensaid:”We really enjoyed it, the trail was a good idea and it was a great way to introduce more people to Bute Park. It was a great outdoor activity and my teenage sons really enjoyed it too. Thank you.”
Co-Managing Director of From the Fields, Andy Smith, said: “The wrapping paper has been recycled, the tree is back up in the attic and all that is left of Christmas 2021 is the memories – and what memories they are!”
“The debut of Christmas at Bute Park welcomed over 120,000 visitors during its 5 week run, exceeding all expectations. We have been overawed by the response – the feedback of visitors on the ground and in our inbox is the best present any organiser could wish for.
“We are truly honoured to have had the opportunity to bring this magical idea to light in such a wonderful city and would like to thank everyone who attended or worked on the celebration for making it such a success. We very much look forward to welcoming you back for Christmas 2022.”
All ticket holders affected by the event’s early closure as a result of revised Welsh Government COVID-19 regulations coming into force on Boxing Day, have been offered a choice of refund or to simply roll their tickets over to a new date and time of their choosing for this season’s light trail, when the spectacular event will return to Bute Park.