Dream attendance figures for Howard Davis Park event

Dreaming Trees in Howard Davis Park. Picture: Government of Jersey/Bam Perspectives (37727892)

DREAMING Trees in Howard Davis Park could become an annual event – if sponsorship is found – after attendance numbers rose this year, the Infrastructure Minister has said.

About 34,500 visits were made in February to the week-long event, in which trees were illuminated in a variety of colours,

This marked an increase from around 30,000 visits to the inaugural event in 2023. The Infrastructure and Environment departments thanked all attendees, staff and sponsors who made it “such a magical week”.

Infrastructure Minister Andy Jehan also thanked the teams involved.

Speaking to the JEP, he said: “It was absolutely fantastic to see that the interest in the event was not only sustained from last year but increased.

“We are looking into all sorts of different events like this, and we are very thankful to Rathbones and the Creative Island Partnership for their support. We do rely on having external support to enable us to put these events on.”

Asked whether the exhibition could run over two weeks next year, he said: “We need to reflect on the event and the numbers, because it’s a lot of time, effort and cost, so we’d need to understand whether that 34,500 would grow. I would, of course, like it to be an annual event – but we’re reliant on goodwill and sponsorship for that to happen.”

He added that an evening designed for neurodiverse Islanders had a “good take-up” and “those who took it up appreciated that it was recognised that some people would benefit from a different environment”.

Mr Jehan said that expanding a similar event to parks in other parishes was “something to consider”.

He referred to Shakespeare plays put on by Oddsocks Productions in Coronation Park last summer and ArtHouse Jersey’s Floating Earth in Queen’s Valley Reservoir, which saw around 30,000 visits, as other successful events.

Bruce Labey, senior operations manager for the government’s Parks and Gardens Department, previously said the event would have a “somewhat poignant feel” this year after the park suffered “significant damage” in Storm Ciarán last November.

The park lost some of its “star” trees in the storm, he said, but was subject to a huge clean-up effort to make the area safe again.

The theme of the event, which ran from 10 to 17 February, was centred on the four elements.

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