Windows fest lights up winter nights and brings community together

March 31 2016
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Windows fest lights up winter nights and brings community together

THE second Bishopston Window Wanderland event was a huge success seeing 250 homes, schools and local businesses adorned in lightup art displays for the enjoyment of their neighbours. Over 2,500 people wandered the 88 participating streets to see the impressive creations of their fellow locals.

People really enjoyed participating, with one resident saying: “I’m 73 and my husband died last Sept. Knitting all the flowers for my window display kept me focused and gave me a definite goal, which helped. I’m now thinking what to do next year!”

It was lovely to see whole streets taking part. On Thornleigh Avenue, Keith Walker’s Bristol’s Got Talent stage attracted performances from a variety of local talent, while Pizzarova helped to ward off the chill by providing pizza slices for Wanderlanders. All donations go to Children’s Hospice South West, with a whopping £800 being raised over the two nights thanks to our generous residents.

There were lots of displays on Springfield Avenue which closed for a street party on the Saturday night with refreshments being provided for donations, raising over £200 for Aid Box Convoy. A member of the community commented that: “ We all had great fun walking around and it’s lovely to see so many people walking about their community and working together”.

The community came together with traders on Gloucester Road offering their windows for schools, groups and local artists to decorate. Collaborations between local schools & traders were shown all the way down Gloucester Road, culminating in a series of gorgeous displays. The Head of Ashley Down Primary described this as “a glowing projection” showcasing their efforts. 

A highlight was the display created by the North Bristol Drop In group with Ashley Down After School club for the windows at  Gloucestershire County Cricket Ground. Roz Hutchings, Head of Community Engagement at the County Ground said: “I was amazed how many people made it out to the Window Wanderland despite the weather. It was brilliant to welcome so many people to the Bristol County Ground to look at the artwork created by North Bristol Drop In and Ashley Down After School Club. A great spin off has been that the team who support the adults with learning disabilities at the Drop In are now going to come to our Chat, Play, Unite event we hold at the ground every other month, designed to help reduce social isolation. What a great legacy from the Window Wanderland whose ethos is to bring the community together.”

The team of volunteers who organised the Bishopston Wanderland were thrilled with the success of this year’s event and are always looking for people to get involved. If you feel that you would like to become part of the team, please contact Dom Blackmore at wwbishopston@gmail.com for more information.

Next year’s Bishopston Window Wanderland is already pencilled in for 4th and 5th February 2017