VISITORS to Stalybridge Street Fest were treated to a sneak preview of the spectacular delights in store for the town's Weave arts festival next month.
Charlie, a giant mill boy puppet, is one of many highlights to look forward to at Weave, which is a free family-friendly event. The festival, which will include carnival performances, brass band music, dancing, street theatre and creative workshops, is coming to Stalybridge town centre on Saturday 9 September 2023.
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 will be 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, Charlie the mill boy and another puppet friend will be greeting Farrah the fox – a giant 5m high puppet who is taller than a double decker and will be zooming into Stalybridge on a scooter as she makes her journey across the country to all the Hi! Street Fest events. The characters will be showcasing the town's cotton heritage and its vibrant cultural scene of today.
The trio will provide pop up performances through the day, which will be part of a wider cultural weekend of activity including the monthly Street Fest food festival on the Friday night 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: "We're on the countdown now for Weave and it's really exciting to get a preview of Charlie the giant mill boy puppet at Stalybridge Street Fest. He's just a taster for the spectacular performances and entertainment being planned for Weave and I'm hoping lots of families, visitors and local people will get involved and come enjoy what Stalybridge town centre has to offer."
Weave, which is funded externally by Historic England, Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund, will build on Stalybridge's Greater Manchester Town of Culture legacy as well as the High Street Heritage Action Zone.
EEA is working with The Bridge and Global Grooves to collaborate with local residents in a series of outreach activities and workshops.
The event will include 'Cotton Carnival' performances in which the community can get involved – from percussionists and dancers to volunteer crew on the day. There's still time for people to get involved, more information here: https://www.globalgrooves.org/get-involved/cotton-carnival
For more information see www.intameside.co.uk/weave
Pictured: Charlie the Millboy with Assistant Executive Member for Heritage, Culture and Digital Inclusivity Cllr Sangita Patel, Executive Member for Towns and Communities Cllr Vimal Choksi and Stalybridge members.