christmas lights across Sheffield will be shining bright in memory of lost loved ones this weekend in a Sheffield hospice’s ‘biggest’ fundraising festival.
St Luke’s Hospice, Whirlow, has expanded its popular Festival of Light – which sees the charity displaying thousands of lights dedicated to family or friends – to homes, workplaces and other venues.
Ecclesfield library, Sheffield Railway Station, Ponds Forge International Sports Centre and iceSheffield are among places lighting up from tomorrow as work to build a new £5 million inpatient unit means the main hospice event will be restricted.
Hospice supporters are also encouraged to host their own events.
In recent years, more than £40,000 has been raised through the festival towards the £4 million the hospice needs annually to stay open.
John Highfield, hospice media relations manager, said: “It’s very much our biggest Festival of Light, because we are going citywide this year. We are taking it out to people who might not have had the chance to participate in the past.
“It is a popular event and now the whole of Sheffield can get involved.”
The festival kicks off with illuminated Christmas trees being unveiled at Ponds Forge in the city centre – as the hospice has formed a partnership with operator Sheffield International Venues – tomorrow at 6.45pm.
One member of the public will win the chance to perform the switch-on through sales of raffle tickets, available from the sports centre from 4pm.
A Late Night Light Skate with Christmas tree switch-on, music and dance, takes place at iceSheffield, Attercliffe, the following day, from 8pm to 10pm.
On Sunday, the hospice’s own celebration will be held at the front of the building on Little Common Lane.
Lights covering the building and a tree will be turned on at 6pm, accompanied by music from Holymoorside Brass Band and carol singing by the St Luke’s staff choir.
As local parking is restricted, from 4.30pm a park-and-ride service will be running between the Tesco car park in Abbeydale Road and the hospice.
On Monday, commuters can also join in the festival when it visits the railway station for the fifth year running.
Coun John Campbell, Lord Mayor of Sheffield, will switch on the station tree at 6pm, while Oughtibridge Brass Band and the Westbourne School Choir provide music.
And other events include the Ecclesfield library Christmas tree switch on Wednesday.
Information packs on hosting a festival event – including invites, recipes and a tree decoration – are available from the hospice.
n For more details, or to register an event, call 0114 235 7554.