London’s first ever Borough of Culture launched its tenure with a bang this weekend.

Waltham Forest’s team held events all weekend and saw thousands turn out for light shows, film projections and interactive artwork installations at the town hall and in Lloyd Park, Walthamstow.

One light show, known as the Nest, even confused some living nearby, who reported seeing what might be UFOs over Walthamstow.

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The Nest light show caused some confusion on Friday night.

Despite some confusion, more than 70,000 people turned out over the weekend with people of all ages getting involved.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, whose office has part-funded the year’s programme of events, said: “It was fantastic to be in Waltham Forest on Friday and see the start of the very first London Borough of Culture. The impressive weekend show kicked off an ambitious and exciting year.

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A 30-minute film was projected on to the walls of Waltham Forest town hall.

“Culture has the power to transform lives and through the Borough of Culture programme we will be helping more Londoners, regardless of their background, to enjoy the full benefits of the arts.”

The weekend’s shows were made by commissioned artists Greenaway & Greenaway, Talvin Singh, Addictive TV, Marshmallow Laser Feast and Erland Cooper with the help of thousands of the borough’s school children and members of community groups.

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Actors walked the streets of Walthamstow on stilts.

Cllr Clare Coghill, leader of Waltham Forest Council, said: “I could not be more proud of the residents of Waltham Forest. I have seen first-hand the transformative power of the arts; and in particular the opportunity they provide to inspire our young people to showcase and express their creativity.

“Culture is not an optional add-on, an afterthought or something that is just nice to have. On the contrary, investment in culture is essential to ensure that everyone enjoys a great quality of life.”

Cllr Paul Douglas, the council’s junior cabinet member for culture, said he was a mixture of “childishly excited” and “very nervous” on Friday night at the launch event.

He said one of the events he was most looking forward to was a community run project where instead of checking out a book in a library, you can check out a person who is an expert in a particular topic to ask them questions and pick their brains; which he said was “amazingly quirky”.

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Queues for the events were thousands strong.

He added: “One of the things that I keep saying is that success is not just about how many people come to these events, but in five years’ time if someone stands up and says who is a director of something or other and says ‘I got into culture because of Waltham Forest’s year as borough of Culture,’ that is success.

“It is the transformative power of culture, I think everyone deserves an opportunity. I think there is a danger that people think it is just a middle class thing, but it is not, everyone deserves culture.

“As a borough we are culture-ready and to a certain extent it is shining a light on what is already here.”

For more information and a full programme of events click here.