Words: Mindy Goose
Kirkstall has a reputation of having quite the creative community, and following the success of the Kirkstall Arts Trail, the ‘village’ will be hosting its own Advent calendar trail.
Across homes and businesses, a new scene will be unveiled everyday from the 1 December, and remain illuminated until 5 January.
Organiser, Mandy Long – a long time Kirkstall resident – had the idea after taking part in the Kirkstall Art Trail “that something like this would really appeal to the art loving residents”. She added:
“The moment you say you’re organising something like this in Kirkstall, you instantly have tons of talented people offering their skills, so organising it has been fantastic, it’s very much a group effort.”
Talking about Christmastime itself, Mandy added:
“I love the run up to Christmas almost better than the day itself, and this has become another fun part of Christmas. I love the old fashioned advent calendars that have pictures behind the doors and this will hopefully have all the excitement of that, times 100!”
Some of the residents taking part include local councillor Fiona Venner. She said:
“Making my advent window was a wonderful afternoon with the little artists in my support bubble. I’m looking to taking them on the trail on Christmas Eve in the vain hope that this will tire them out for bedtime!”
Another resident, Nikki Morris, is “very excited to see a new window every evening, whilst out walking my dog”. And Amber Rithalia told us that she is “feeling very happy to be doing something creative and festive, and for and with the community. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone’s creations in their windows.”
With lockdowns and restrictions on what we can do, participation has been very welcomed by neighbours. One neighbour, Louise, thinks that:
“Kirkstall has a wonderful community and it’s brilliant to celebrate that through shared activities, particularly at a time such as this, when we are physically separate from each other so much.”
Mandy Long agreed. She said:
“I think this year in particular it has given me, and I hope everyone else involved too, a bit of fun and colour, and another excuse to touch base with each other, and hopefully that will extend to anyone else who sees it.”
If you would like to see the windows, the Kirkstall Advent have a map of the trail, designed by resident and participant Amy McAbendroth.
It shows where all the houses that are lighting up their windows with their designs, will be, and in typical advent calendar style, the windows are allocated in a random order!