East Village residents gathered to watch the switch-on of a forest of Frozen Trees
On Sunday 30th November East Village hosted its first ever festive light switch-on. With the East Village community in attendance, the event saw the illumination of a forest of 14 ‘Frozen Trees’; a light installation from young Portuguese designers, LIKE Architects. The designers have used 1,296 reusable and highly recyclable IKEA plastic bag dispensers to create the art installation, making a creative argument for the importance of multi-purposing.
The event was introduced by CEO of Get Living London Neil Young, and the lights were switched on by East Village residents William McKissock, 15, and Ryan Rielly, 9. The two won the opportunity to turn on the installation by entering a competition that asked: What are you looking forward to most about Christmas at East Village?
William responded saying: “The thing I am looking forward to most about Christmas at East Village is to be able to make the most of the amazing environment around me, make new friends and have fun. The former Athletes’ Village is a place where people can turn dreams into reality. That’s how I feel. This place is magical because you really do feel like anything is possible.”
Young Ryan Rielly, whose mother wrote in on his behalf, said: “East Village has given Ryan the opportunity to have his first Christmas at home with his mum and dad in one home. We as a family are looking forward to celebrating with the neighbours and my son will be smiling when he looks out of the window at all the lights. To light up the village would become a life-long memory and one he will treasure each Christmas in the future.”
The event was ably supported by the presence of some of London’s finest street food vans, a bar and the excellent Gospeloke – a form of karaoke supported by a backing gospel choir, with the switch on following a stonking rendition of '12 days of Christmas'.
The festive lights will remain turned on at East Village until the beginning of 2015. They can be found in the heart of East Village between Belvedere and Victory Park, fronting onto Celebration Avenue.