Calls are being made to transform the streets of Birr into magical outdoors galleries later on this summer as part of a 'Window Wanderland'.
What is a window wanderland, you ask? It's a chance to see your town in a brand new light and help the community run window display based walking trails that are fun and open to all. It's hoped people will get behind the event in Birr on August 2 and 3 from dusk to dark, 9pm to 11pm.
Window wanderland is a fun community project that started in Bristol in 2015, with amazing results and Birr will host this unique event in August 2019 as part of Birr Vintage Week.
As part of the project, all residents of Birr are invited to make displays in their windows or gardens that will then form a magical trail, which can be explored by the whole community. What goes into the display is totally up to you: from a string of fairy lights to a band playing in the living room, from simple to spectacular: as long as it's family friendly, anything goes. The central route will be around the town centre and will form a wonderful light trail between the Vintage Luminaries, presented again this year by Offline Film Festival and illuminating John's Hall, the Maltings and St Brendan's old church. In addition, individual communities around the town will have their own wanderland trails.
This event is designed to get the community back into vintage and bring art out into our shared spaces. You can participate by making a window display, hosting a 'window maker' or just coming out on the night. There will be workshops to help with window making but the main thing is not to be intimidated. It can be as simple or as spectacular as you want. Don't worry, the displays are designed so people don't see past them into your house.
Organiser, Caroline Conway explained to the 'Tribune' that this would be a “really special event” that would bring communities together. “We spend so much time in cars and this gives a reason to explore your area on foot. Last year, Offline Film Festival presented Vintage Luminaries, lighting up the old St Brendan's Church and the Convent, which made people see these familiar buildings in a totally different way.”
“This will happen again this year and the window wanderland will bring the light trail into the heart of the community. Taking part means that you are part of something much bigger. We would like to encourage 'street champions' to deliver community flyers to spread the word in their areas so that whole streets can come together and light up the night. In the UK, 90 per cent of people, who have taken part said they would do it again and that it strengthened their sense of community, made them proud and brought a sense of well being to the area.”
Created in 2015 in Bristol by Lucy Reeves, who said that everyone has a “playful side to them”. “They just need an opportunity to show it. I wanted to make an event that anyone can participate in and do something different. This brightens up the nights giving everyone a great excuse to get out doors. We have see over 3,500 displays made by schools, grandparents, even pets! It's a proper grass-roots community event and some roads had almost every house participating, using camper-vans, top floor windows and even decorating hedges with lights”.
Since 2015, there has been 47 events nationwide including overseas and if Birr takes part in this event, it will be joining with a happy family of non-for-profit volunteers, who want to brighten their world.
As a not-for-profit organisation, Window Wanderland is passionate about social change and recognises that although we live closer than ever, we are becoming more isolated and switched into online rather than real community.
Window Wanderland is embraced by those who see it, young and old and aspires to bring positivity and warmth into people's lives. It's an inclusive community event, aimed at bringing everyone together to have some fun. And, it's easy to put your house on the map if you want to make a display, just visit the event at www.windwanderland.com and clink into events and then Birr. See display ideas or find us on Facebook, twitter and Pinterest @windowwander or contact Caroline on firstname.lastname@example.org.