IT'S Whit Friday on June 2, and once again Tameside will be hosting the ever-popular and historic brass band contests.
The tradition dates back to the late 19th century, and this year the borough is hosting nine events, all organised by volunteer committees under the aegis of the Tameside Friends of the Whit Friday Brass Band Contests (FOTWFBBC). Around 70 bands are expected to compete.
To have a chance of being crowned champions, bands have to perform at six of the contests. As well as demanding proof of musical prowess, the evening also tests discipline, stamina and organisational skills.
Cllr Sangita Patel, Tameside Council's assistant executive member for culture, said: "The Whit Friday band contests are one of the things that give Tameside its individuality and character.
"They comprise a unique cultural spectacle and are rightly known as the greatest free show on earth. They are well worth visiting whether you live in the borough or are just visiting the area."
Cat Tomlinson, the new chair of the Friends of Tameside Whit Friday Brass Band Contest, added: "I'm very excited and looking forward to seeing everyone's efforts come together on June 2 when the fantastic sound of brass will be filling the streets of Tameside and beyond."
The contests, which are organised by Tameside Council in partnership with FOTWFBBC, are:
Broadoak: Ashton RUFC, St Albans Ave, Ashton-under-Lyne, OL6 8TU – 4.30 to 11pm.
Carrbrook: Carr Rise, Carrbrook, Stalybridge, SK15 3NY – 4 to 11pm.
Denton: Denton Cricket Club, Egerton Street, Denton, M34 3PB – 4 to 11.15pm.
Droylsden: Bush Inn, Moorside Street, Droylsden, M43 7HL – 4 to 11.30pm.
Dukinfield: Tame Valley Hotel, Park Road, Dukinfield, SK16 5LX – 4.15 to 11.15pm.
Heyrod: John Street, Heyrod, Stalybridge, SK15 3BW – 4.30 to 11pm.
Hurst Village: Ashton United FC, Surrey Street, Hurst Cross, OL6 8DY – 4 to 10.30pm.
Stalybridge, New Stalybridge Labour Club, Acres Lane, Stalybridge, SK15 2JR – 4 to 11pm.
Upper Mossley: Mossley FC, Seel Park, OL5 0ES – 4.30 to 11.45pm.