IT will be bright lights in the big city tonight as Durham gets plugged in.
Final touches were being carried out this afternoon in time for the launch of Lumiere.
The festival of light will fill the streets of the city centre for the next four nights.
In total, there will be 35 glowing artworks for the public to enjoy, many beamed on to the sides of buildings.
The event, which attracted 75,000 people and gave the area’s economy a £1.5million cash boost during its first run two years ago, will be launched at 6pm with a lantern parade featuring children from East Durham.
The city’s iconic cathedral, bridges and riverside will provide the settings for the works, along with its gardens and parks.
Tests have been carried out during the last few nights as the last preparations and adjustments are made.
The installations include a giant snow globe in the Market Place, a waterfall from Kingsgate Bridge and a neon sign created by Tracy Emin, along with the return of Crown of Light, which is beamed on to the side of the cathedral.
Nicky Webb, is co-director of Artichoke, which is putting on the festival.
She said: “It’s looking fantastic.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing the audience having a great time. That’s the most rewarding thing from our point of view.”
A team of 70 volunteers dressed in blue jackets will be on hand to help direct visitors to the works, reach facilities and recommend places to eat, drink and shop, with businesses in the area being encouraged to stay open later.
Stewards in yellow jackets will ensure people are safe, with hundreds of others involved in ensuring the festival runs smoothly.
The event will run each night from 6pm until 11pm.
A series of talks and workshops is also being held during the event, with a hub being run in part of the Gala Theatre in Millennium Place, where people can pick up information and maps.
The programme for the festival can be downloaded at www.lumieredurham.co.uk
The site also offers information on transport, where to eat and drink, getting involved and the groups involved in the event.
A mobile website, found at the same address, is also up and running for people with smart phones.
BE bright and use the bus – that is the plea from Lumiere organisers as extra services are laid on.
More buses will be put on between Durham’s park and ride sites and the city centre.
Enhanced public transport will also be put on by Go North East and Arriva.
Among those to run later will be the 262 Belmont and Pittington bus and the 64 between Brasside, Newton Hall and Sherburn Village.
About 900 parking spaces will also be available at County Hall.
In addition to finding information on the Lumiere site itself, there’s the Traveline North East journey planner www.travelinenortheast.info www.simplygo.com and www.arrivabus.co.uk/lumieredurham Traveline can also be called on 0871 200 22 33.