Date: 
Friday, November 26, 2010 - 11:30

Sparkling lantern processions, beautiful Christmas carols and delicious festive food will return to the Eden Project with the launch of the winter season from Friday (December 3).

There’ll be special evening openings until 9pm every Friday and Saturday right through to the Christmas holidays.

The celebratory nights will feature a lantern parade making its way from the Core education building along a route festooned with lights to the Arena where a giant Christmas tree and beautiful fire sculptures will enchant the crowds.

The lanterns have become part of Eden folklore after they escaped destruction in the floods which swamped mid Cornwall and large parts of the project on November 17.

To escape the wintry weather, visitors can take a wander through the Mediterranean Biome where, for the first time, a range of delicious food will be available. Cornish choirs will provide some musical accompaniment by performing Christmas carols. No booking is required for this special event.

If visitors want to learn some useful crafts to prepare for the festive season, there’ll be creative workshops in the Core where community groups will share their skills from lantern-making to gift-wrapping to decking the halls.

Down in the steamy Rainforest Biome, one of the world’s largest indoor sound art installations takes place on Friday and Saturday nights. This event includes story-telling and authentic noises of the jungle created by sonic artist Augustine Leudar.

Also on the launch evening of the Time of Gifts winter season on Friday (December 3), Eden’s popular Arts Café returns to the Core where there’ll be live music from ska band Melosa and the female beatboxing quintet Boxettes late into the night. Representatives from Eden’s youth volunteering program ‘Barefoot Games’ will be on hand to answer questions and there’ll be delicious food served in Jo’s Café.

Currently, visitors from Cornwall and Devon can take up the offer of Locals for a Fiver when they can gain a year’s admission to Eden by paying £5 and registering for an annual pass. They should bring proof of residency in Cornwall or Devon (for example a utility bill) and photographic ID to take advantage of this offer.

Eden’s marketing director Martin Williams said: “Following the floods and the flurries of snow, we will be bringing a real festive glow to Eden's late nights starting on Friday when everyone is invited to take part in the lantern procession and enjoy the spectacle.

“We’re working hard to get our ice rink back up and running again after it was damaged in the floods.

"Visitors will find all sorts to inspire their own festive season at Eden this winter.”

For more information, ticket prices and full opening times during winter, visit www.edenproject.com or ring the Box Office on 01726 811972.