The 'King of Christmas' Illuminates Zoo
Channel 4’s King of Christmas Lights, Paul Toole arrived at Drusillas Park this weekend to start constructing the new Winter Wonderland Illuminations, ready for the Grand Switch On event on 1st December at 4.30pm.
Paul Toole is a leading figure in Christmas light shows and creates one of the biggest festive displays in the country on his own front lawn at Manning Close in Wells, Somerset. The dazzling spectacle draws hundreds of onlookers each night and attracted national attention in 2011 after Paul starred in the Cutting Edge Channel 4 documentary, King of Christmas Lights.
Between 60–70,000 LED lights will be used to create the impressive Winter Wonderland scene at Drusillas Park, specifically chosen for their low energy consumption and environmental benefits.
The display will take a week to create and will incorporate an animal themed light show, synchronised to festive music. Young revellers will be able to see a host of magical creatures in an ice-capped kingdom, including 36 reindeers, 65 penguins, 32 seals and over 50 polar bears. There will also be mini trees, a 20ft mega tree and an LED waterfall and running stream.
Zoo Director, Christine Smith commented: “We have re-launched our Christmas offering for 2012 and thought a light display would provide a lovely addition to our Grotto and other festive events, which include the chance to meet Mother Christmas, Hug a Husky and enjoy a festive glass of mulled wine this year.”
“After watching the documentary and seeing Paul’s own illuminations first hand, we were incredibly impressed with the standard of his work and were delighted when he agreed to design a similar display for us. We are sure it will prove a popular attraction and any donations will be given to our Charity of the Year, Care for the Carers.”
The concept of animating lights to music was originally founded in the USA, although is still very rare in the UK. It takes approximately 8 hours to sequence the lights to just one minute of music and Paul will be using technology from the States in order to achieve this.
Paul commented: “I feel really privileged to have been asked to design the display for Drusillas. When you are a Christmas nut like me, a project like this is right up my Christmas Street – I can’t wait to get started.”
Paul will return to Drusillas Park on 1st December to switch on the light display and officially open the Winter Wonderland Illuminations. The attraction will then run everyday from 4.30pm until Sunday 6th January.