Its nearly time for Weave!

Date Released - 29/08/2023

A spectacular parade of giant puppets, dancing and music will be a highlight of Weave arts festival in Stalybridge town centre on Saturday 9 September.


The free family event, which will run from 11am to 3pm in and around Armentieres Square, Stalybridge, will include carnival performances, music, dancing, street theatre and creative workshops.


Weave is part of Historic England’s collaborative ‘Hi! Street Fest’ project to celebrate high streets and the people who love and look after them. It is being delivered in partnership with Tameside Council, the Bridge Cultural Consortium, Mossley based arts organisation Global Grooves and outdoor arts company Emergency Exit Arts (EEA).


As part of Weave, Farrah the fox – a 5m high puppet who is taller than a double decker -  will be zooming into Stalybridge on a scooter as she makes her journey across the country to all the Hi! Street Fest events. She will be greeted by Charlie the millboy puppet and his friend Maude – who represents cotton workers across the global community. Together the characters will be showcasing the town’s cotton heritage and its vibrant cultural scene of today.
The three puppets will be part of the Cotton Carnival parade, which will set off from Market Street at 11am, following a route along Waterloo Road, back onto Market Street, then Melbourne Street, Corporation Street and Trinity Street before culminating in Armentieres square at approx. 11.30am. The parade will also include over 200 fully costumed percussionists, dancers, brass players and community performers, showcasing the artistic talent of the local area.


Spectators are encouraged to line the route to enjoy the best views of the procession as it passes.


Following the parade, there will be further pop up carnival performances in Armentieres Square as well as and other activities including creative workshops, storytelling, walk about characters, brass band music and clogg dancing.


Weave is part of a wider weekend of cultural activity including the monthly Stalybridge Street Fest food festival on the Friday evening 5-9pm and Heritage Open Days, which will involve the library, Astley Cheetham Art Gallery and local churches being open to the public.
Cllr Sangita Patel, Tameside Council’s Assistant Executive Member for Heritage, Culture and Digital Inclusivity, said: “This is going to be a fabulous weekend for Stalybridge,  celebrating local artistic talent and the town’s heritage and cultural scene of today while also showcasing what the town has to offer to visitors, shoppers and families.


“I encourage people to come along and enjoy a wonderful day out while also supporting local businesses and exploring what their local high street has to offer.”


Catherine Dewar, Historic England’s Regional Director for the North West said: “We’re thrilled to be working with local people and Tameside Council on such a fun and creative celebration of Stalybridge’s heritage.  People really care about their local heritage and the festival will help to draw people into the high street to create special memories for next generation.”


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