See Oldham in a new light as three of the town centre’s iconic venues play host to the borough’s second late-night arts festival, ‘Illuminate’.  
With a range of illuminative-themed performances, attractions and workshops lined up at Oldham’s Parish Church, Parliament Square and Gallery Oldham, there’s something for all the family to enjoy on Friday, February 16 from 6-9pm. 

Spectacular 3D projections from Illuminos will see our award-winning Old Town Hall transformed as it is bathed in light. This specially-commissioned production celebrates the 50th anniversary of Oldham Theatre Workshop and will see the history of the borough’s acclaimed youth theatre brought to life.

Parliament Square is hosting a ‘Tale of Two Giants’ with beautifully handcrafted lanterns towering over the square, telling the story of two duelling giants and their love of the water nymph, Rimmon. It will also be visited by Bessemer, the fire-breathing dragon who will be emerging from the Egyptian Room throughout the evening.

The fun continues at Gallery Oldham where an illuminated landscape of fire and sculpture will welcome audiences as they walk through the gardens with balls of fire, towers of candles and Swedish torches lighting the way. Desi Carnival will see dancers, drummers and puppetry come together for a special performance created for Manchester Mela and Diwali and ‘A Love Letter to Oldham’ will invite people of all ages to write love letters to the heart of the place.

At Oldham Parish Church, a woven sculpture created by artist Gordon Banks will fly high within the church walls, accompanied by candles and an ethereal soundtrack. Visitors can also visit ‘The Gilly Wagon’, a glowing fortune teller booth and receive a special illuminated gift. Visitors will also have the chance to have a tour of the Crypt (which must be booked in advance on 0161 770 3070).

Jean Stretton, Oldham Council Leader, said: “I’m delighted that Illuminate is back for the second year. Last year’s event was extremely popular and the town centre looked absolutely stunning as it was lit up by these spectacular installations.    

“Illuminate is a real family friendly event and we’re expecting a lot of visitors so I would advise people to get here early to enjoy a great evening’s free entertainment.”

In the build-up to the event special lantern-building workshops are also taking place on 3, 10, 14 and 15 February at Gallery Oldham. Oldham Library will also be hosting AdaAdaAda, an interactive theatre production and a rocket-making workshop. Booking details and more information can be found at



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