It was 5pm. There were (rumours of) 250 people waiting to get into the Town Hall. It was time to start Light Night.
We switched off the lights and the glow of the cranes was magical. I'd been worried we'd need uplighters, but there was enough light to walk around in, and it really did transform the place. My mum grabbed me for a hug and I was suddenly more proud of myself than I have ever been in my life. I'd done this, and it looked awesome.
People started coming in, and although a few walked straight past, most people trickled into the tunnels, and before I knew it, it was full. All I could hear was positive comments, and though a couple of cranes dropped, we managed to grab them and perch them on lamps. At one point it was too busy, and I started to worry that the cranes would get damaged, particularly as people kept reaching up to touch them (and we caught a few people trying to walk out with them!). Loads of people were taking pictures, and although I was exhausted, I was kept busy answering questions (how long did it take? did you do it all yourself? is it based on Prison Break?)
I popped up to the courtroom a few times, and Lisa and Dave were constantly busy not only helping with the boats, but showing cranes and boxes and who knows what else! The courtroom was full of people learning origami and talking to each other. It was awesome. Even after Lisa and Dave finished their epic shift (and thanks guys, for staying around so long), and I'd abandoned the courtroom thinking I'd just clear it all up later, I still saw people working through the instructions, or teaching each other, or just sat colouring in (and these were adults). It seemed to really capture the imagination of Leeds.
As it drew close to midnight, there didn't seem to be any let up in the amount of people coming down into the tunnels. Luckily I had awesome friends who stayed with me right through (particularly RobC and Aretha, who not only stayed until the bitter end, but never took a break). I'd thought it would be busy up until about 7pm, then really quiet, then a little busier when the pubs let out, but it was relentless. And everyone was so nice about my installation. As it ticked close to 1am, when the Town Hall shut, finally it quietened down. By that point, I was too tired to do anything but pack up my stuff, say goodnight to the cranes, and head off to the final event of Light Night, where we toasted what a successful night it had been.