Weekend Canals Festival Only Days Away

Date Released - 05/09/2022

THERE’S less than a week to go until Stalybridge Gongoozler Fest. Friday, September 9, marks the start of three days of events celebrating canals in Tameside – a heritage that goes back more than 200 years.

Although a gongoozler is a person who enjoys watching activity on canals, everyone’s welcome to barge in and enjoy the weekend of activities based on Stalybridge’s status as Greater Manchester Town of Culture, and its unique position as a centre for waterways and the arts.

It all begins on Friday with Street Fest, the popular monthly family street food gathering in and around Armentieres Square which offers delicious dishes to suit all tastes against a background of live entertainment (5 to 9pm).

On Saturday, September 10, it’s back to Armentieres Square and the canalbank for a day jam-packed with fun things to do.

Along with live music for the full six hours from 10am to 4pm, there will be a wide variety of free craft activities ranging from canal art head dresses to making patchworks and paper. You can also fold some origami birds and leaves and then float them on the canal.

A variety of street performances will include stilt-walkers, storytellers and canal characters. For those interested in dance there will be opportunities to join in with the Milltown Cloggies and Olivia Peers from Born and Bred Dance Company.

There will also be food stalls outside the civic hall on Trinity Street.

Free kayaking workshops will be available on the canal, and a “waterwheel” tribute to the cotton industry, comprising Fair Isle depictions of mills knitted by Rachael Elwell and the local community, will be on display.

Gongoozler Fest concludes on Sunday, September 11, with the Cotton Carnival (2 to 3pm) in which Global Grooves will be recreating their contribution to the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee pageant which took place in London in June.

Cllr Sangita Patel, Tameside Council’s assistant executive member for culture, heritage and digital inclusivity, said: “Gongoozler Fest brings together so many of the things Stalybridge is known for – waterways, music and culture – in one super, spectacular celebration.

“It’s something everyone can get involved in and enjoy – young people, old people, businesses and community groups. It promises to be the biggest and best weekend Stalybridge has known for many years. I can’t wait for the countdown to end and the fun to start.”

Gongoozler Fest is organised by Tameside Cultural Services in collaboration with The Bridge Cultural Consortium and other partners.

It’s a smoke-free event and visitors are thanked in advance for not smoking at the event so that Tameside is healthy for children and families.

For more information see www.intameside.co.uk