The installations have travelled from Lyon, France where people have been lighting candles since 1643 to honor a religious promise made during a plague. The tradition has evolved over the centuries, making it a festival that attracts people from all over the world.
This is the first year that Georgetown residents will get a sampling of the popular Fete De Lumieres, or festival of lights, without having to travel to France, said Sherie Winston, communications manager for the Georgetown Business Improvement District.
In keeping with the theme of light in Georgetown leading up to the holidays, Georgetown BID's holiday window competition also incorporates light into the displays.
The Georgetown BID worked with Alliance Francaise D.C. to bring to the neighborhood five installations, by four international artists, that were previously displayed this year at the French festival.
Here are descriptions of the installations from the Georgetown BID:
- "Ciudad Habitada" presented by Travesias de Luz, a Spanish urban art collective led by creative director Luisa Alvarez. Ciudad Habitada features a collection of lit mannequins fashioned from transparent tape and other materials positioned in everyday human activities. The mannequins will be in various locations along Thomas Jefferson Street NW throughout the week.
- "Floating Lights" presented by Travesias de Luz. This interactive display features a 10 ft by 32 ft wall of colored light tubes that can be switched on or off to create words, messages or pictures. Located at the Washington waterfront near the Washington Harbour throughout the week.
- "Larsen 3G" created by Fabien Bourdier of Blixlab (with Samuel Mathiou and Labomedia) and produced by Merryl Messaoudi of Crossed Lab. Larsen 3G is an interactive video installation, projecting images and messages submitted by visitors from their mobile devices onto surrounding architecture. Larsen 3G will be displayed in the JBG Courtyard, 1025 Thomas Jefferson St. NW. Opening Weekend Only: December 13 and 14.
- "Zodiac" presented by Chloe Yaiche. Mixing sound and video, Zodiac shows shining images of 12 world cities as constellations inspired by NASA satellite imagery in the JBG Courtyard 1025 Thomas Jefferson Street NW. Opening Weekend Only: December 13 and 14.
- "The Speaktree" presented by Lucion Media of Montreal, Canada. The Speaktree is an interactive tree inside an inflated vinyl bubble. Visitors will send text messages or questions that will be illuminated along the tree's virtual branches. The Speaktree will be on display at Grace Church, 1041 Wisconsin Ave. NW. Opening Weekend Only: December 13 and 14.
A party to celebrate the first lighting of the installations will be hosted with the artists at Malmaison, 3401 K St., N.W., from 9 p.m. until 3 a.m. Tickets are $10.