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Park festival lights up wet, dreary night

"LOVELY night for a stroll," said one of the stewards at Rouken Glen Park last night, in cheerful defiance of the incessant rain and the mud under his feet.

dazzling: Visitors flocked to Rouken Glen park for the first-ever lighting festival. Pictures: Jamie Simposn
dazzling: Visitors flocked to Rouken Glen park for the first-ever lighting festival. Pictures: Jamie Simposn

Despite the miserable weather, the first night of Electric Glen, East Renfrewshire's first-ever lighting festival, seemed to be a resounding success.

Throughout the picturesque park, artful, subtle lighting illuminated bridges, waterfalls and tree trunks.

Lights followed the curve of the boating lake. Trees took on interesting new shadows from lights directed at them.

It was atmospheric, and cleverly done.

The event was originally planned to run from tonight until Sunday and all 8400 tickets were quickly sold.

When tickets went on sale for the event last night, these were snapped up in double-quick time. The council was inundated with phone calls from people asking if there were any tickets left.

People arrived, as advised, with torches, waterproof jackets and sensible outdoor shoes. Family groups were a common sight and some people brought their dogs.

All told, including a special preview, some 2100 visitors enjoyed the spectacle, which was put together by events company Culture Creative.

From the boating lake to the waterfall, and the depths of the glen itself, there was much to see. Here and there, actors gave voice to characters from Rouken Glen's past.

East Renfrewshire Council leader, councillor Jim Fletcher, said: "I'm delighted. This is a great event for families.

"We could have sold it out three or four times over. We think it will be a big success and if it is, we'll try to make it bigger and better in future years."

Mr Fletcher, who is also the local member, added: "This is a great park. People use it during the day but they tend not to use it at night. This is an opportunity to see the park lit up at night, to see the waterfall and the various trails."

Jo Cook, with her six-year-old son Finlay, from Strathbungo, said: "It's really exciting. This is a whole side of the park that I've never actually seen, even in daylight.

"Finlay is really enjoying himself – he thinks he's in something from The Hobbit and that the woodland elves are about to jump out at him."

Frank Pignatelli, 65, from Barrhead, who came with his grandchildren, said: "I never thought so many people would turn out. You couldn't have picked a worse night for it. But it's something different, it looks really good."

Keith Banks, 51, from Paisley, added: "It's fantastic and the colours are absolutely amazing. The lighting effects on the water are amazing. I can't wait to get my pictures developed and see what they are like."

"The weather's not brilliant," Mr Fletcher conceded. "But we're told it should dry up [for] the rest of the week and be quite pleasant. If it's dry, it will obviously be better."

l Electric Glen and The Herald are jointly launching a photography contest relating to the festival, with prizes for the photographs that best capture the event. For more details, visit www.electricglen.co.uk

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