It’s a winter white-out for Hull!

Hull will be bathed in a gorgeous white winter glow as it welcomes residents and visitors into the city centre this Christmas.

This Thursday, beautiful white LED lights will be unveiled across the city centre, with 360 degrees of illumination which will completely light up King Edward Street, Whitefriargate, Ferensway, Prospect Street and Jameson Street.

Starting at 5pm, the celebration will mark the start of the winter season, offering street entertainment, giveaways and many surprises along the way. The switch on will take place at 6.30pm. 

Visitors will be invited to step into an atmospheric winter landscape for an amazing evening of magical entertainment in the city centre streets. 

To accompany the winter theme, local musician and sound artist Jez riley French will provide the soundtrack to the evening, with a crescendo at the moment the lights are switched from the City Hall balcony. Jez riley French is known for evocative soundscapes that capture natural sound and has contributed to a number of projects as part of Hull’s year in the spotlight, including The Height of the Reeds, commissioned by Opera North for the Humber Bridge and John Grant’s North Atlantic Flux. 

This night will open the festive season in real style and I hope everyone will all join in the excitement. We are all in for a real treat.

At 6.30pm, the Lord Mayor of Kingston upon Hull and Admiral of the Humber, Councillor John Hewitt, will be joined by Daniel Carter, (aged 6) from Bransholme, outside the Ferens Art Gallery to officially switch-on the lights and kick off the festive season. 

To join in the celebrations, 50 of the city’s much-loved Hull 2017 volunteers will be on the Hull City Hall balcony, to trigger an explosion of white across Queen Victoria Square.  

As the city lights up, a spectacular firework display will launch over Queen Victoria Square. 

Councillor Terry Geraghty, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Tourism and Chair of Hull Culture & Leisure Limited, said: “This year we return to Queen Victoria Square and our newly improved city centre streets. Visitors will see something a little different, with a new-look event that will offer lots of opportunities to interact with fantastic street entertainment. 

Nayan Kulkarni, the artist who presented the popular installation Blade to the world at the beginning of Hull’s year as UK City of Culture, has also been specially commissioned to bring a star-themed lighting scheme into Queen Victoria Square with Hull City Hall, Ferens Art Gallery and the Maritime Museum all decorated in light. 

Kulkarni is also working on creating a permanent artistic lighting as part of Hull City Council’s UK City of Culture legacy programme, to be unveiled early, new year. 

The Rose Bowl in Queens Gardens will once again feature four huge seven metre decorated Sitka Spruce trees which will provide a great focal point, partly sponsored by the Yorkshire Forestry Commission. The Commission have also donated a number of smaller trees that will adorn the security blocks around Queen Victoria Square. 

From 1 December, people will also be able to see another major art installation commissioned by Hull UK City of Culture 2017. ‘Where Do We Go From Here?‘ created by the award-winning Jason Bruges Studio, who are known around the world for their manipulation of light, will use light, robotics and sound to create a unique immersive experience in Hull’s Old Town. 

Where Do We Go From Here?‘ runs until 7 January 2018. Also in December, Hull 2017 has commissioned two other installations: A Colossal Wave! which features virtual reality (1-10 December), and an extraordinary series of images created by artists Heinrich and Palmer, which are being projected onto the façade of The Deep (8-10 December). 

Martin Green, Director of Hull 2017, said: “As we head towards 2018, following an incredible year for Hull, there is a lot to see and do during the festive season, from traditional treats to world-class art. Whether you are looking for a panto, or seeking an immersive experience, there should be something for everyone to enjoy. 

Many shops will stay open to kick-off the late night shopping nights in the lead up to Christmas and the Ferens Art Gallery will be open until 7.30pm.