Counting down to the Cotton Carnival and Gongoozler Fest

Date Released - 01/09/2022

Finishing touches are being made to a spectacular array of puppets, props and costumes ready for the Cotton Carnival finale to Gongoozler Fest.

Stalybridge Town of Culture Gongoozler Fest will see three days of vibrant events from 9-11 September 2022 celebrating arts, heritage and local waterways.

The weekend of fun and family friendly activities will start with Street Fest on Friday 9 September 5-9pm – offering food, drink and live music - and will be followed from 10am-4pm the next day (Saturday 10 September) with Gongoozal – a free community event involving street performers, live music, arts, crafts and much more. Both events will take place in and around Armentieres Square, Stalybridge.

Last but not certainly not least will be the much anticipated Town of Culture Cotton Carnival at 2-3pm on Sunday 11 September, when Mossley based arts organisation Global Grooves will recreate their magical, globally inspired part in the Queen’s Jubilee Pageant.

The streets of Stalybridge will come alive with over 200 local people recruited as dancers, drummers, brass players and puppeteers in a vibrant parade, starting in Castle Street and finishing in Armentieres Square. It’s not too late to get involved. See Cotton Carnival - Global Grooves for further information.

Volunteers for the Cotton Carnival have created a new puppet, inspired by Ukrainian artist Maria Prymachenko. The nearly 4m high puppet features Ukrainian fabric donated by a Ukrainian now living in Tameside. There were also a number of Ukrainian volunteers helping source material for the puppet and create its dress, beads and top.

Gongoozler Fest has been organised by Tameside Council working with The Bridge Cultural Consortium and other partners as part of the ongoing celebrations to recognise Stalybridge being named Greater Manchester Town of Culture 2022.

Tameside Council Assistant Executive Member for Culture, Heritage and Digital Inclusion Cllr Sangita Patel visited Global Groove’s studio and warehouse at The Vale, Mossley, to see how preparations for the Cotton Carnival are going and check out the handmade silk Cotton Carnival banner.

She said: “I’m so excited about Gongoozler Fest and the Cotton Carnival. It’s fantastic to take a look behind the scenes and see all the hard work and creativity taking place to involve the community in this wonderful festival weekend celebrating local culture.

“There are so many ways for people of all ages to get involved, whether its attending the events or actually taking part. It promises to be an amazing way to see out the summer.”

Gongoozler Fest is a Smokefree event. Visitors are thanked in advance for not smoking at the event helping to keep Tameside smokefree and healthy for children and families.

For more information see