Residents and businesses encouraged to join in cultural community event
Decorated windows across Windermere and Bowness will be lit up each evening between 7th to 27th December to create a covid safe outdoor gallery for the area. Window Wanderland events have been taking place across the country for a number of years and Windermere and Bowness’ has been aptly named ‘Windowmere’. The inspirational cultural event is being organised by Bowness & Windermere Forward who hope that a successful first year will lead to it becoming an annual winter highlight for the area. They are encouraging residents and businesses to create window displays to amuse, entertain, and enthral each other for a few weeks of fun. Window makers register their window online and together these windows will form a wonderful winter walking trail, which everyone can participate in by coming out to enjoy too.
Project Co-Ordinator Helen Moriarty who is helping organise Windowmere to raise spirits in the darkest part of the winter, says: “We’ve already had lots of people interested in creating a display. Windermere Lake Cruises, residents and lots of other businesses are getting involved – it’s great to see the buzz is building already and we encourage as many people as possible to get involved and create a wonderful window. Silhouettes are especially effective but what goes in your window is up to you! We’re thankful to Cumbria County Council’s funding which has allowed us to make an online map, which will be available for people to download and follow the trail. I’m thrilled that Windermere and Bowness are getting on board with this fab event.”
Lucy Reeves Khan, the founder of Window Wanderland, came up with the idea after her career as a designer ended abruptly and an accident left her disabled. She says: “I began taking rehabilitative walks at night and found that the light coming from inside people’s houses made me feel better, less alone, and left me feeling uplifted. These walks gave me the idea that everyone’s windows could become galleries of expression and so Window Wanderland was born.”
The first event was created by Lucy in 2015 and it was a great success. Since then, it has inspired other communities to organise their own winter walking trails. Bowness and Windermere Forward Chair, Sophia Newton said: “Now more than ever we need some Christmas cheer and this covid safe way of celebrating our resilience whilst keeping spirits high is perfect. If this first year is successful it has potential to be a quality annual cultural event which will not only support our communities but encourage visitors to explore both towns out of season. We saw some beautiful rainbow displays during lockdown so we know we have the creative community needed to create windows that our towns can be proud of.”
To sign up to create a window residents and businesses should go to www.windowwanderland.com/events/windowmere For people just wishing to visit the trail, the map will be available to download closer to the event starting on 7th December at the same web address.