Handmade Parade will lift town's spirits
Monday, 25 June 2012
Flood-stricken Hebden Bridge will get a much needed boost on Saturday when the postponed Handmade Parade takes to the streets to lift the spirits and bring thousands of visitors into the area.
And with the Hebden Bridge Arts Festival kicking off on the same day and the Mytholmroyd Gala also taking place, it will be a chance to show how the area has risen from the flood water in real style.
Handmade Parade artists were putting the finishing touches to their giant creations when the River Calder burst its banks last Friday. With large parts of the town centre under several feet of water, organisers had no choice but to postpone the parade.
Many of the artists spent the night in the parade workshops in Victoria Road as they were unable to return home. But all the artwork, costumes and giant puppets remained safe and dry and are now ready to take to the streets in the rearranged parade at 11am on Saturday.
Parade organiser Rebecca Dearden said: "Everyone worked so hard to get ready for the parade last Saturday and it's been a year in the making, so we wanted to ensure the parade went ahead again as soon as possible. Our thoughts are with everyone who was affected by the flood.
"Now we have the chance to give the people of Hebden Bridge, who have demonstrated such a fantastic community spirit, a spectacular parade to lift everyone's spirits and demonstrate the pride we have in our town."
Organisers have thanked Hebden Bridge Arts Festival and the Mytholmroyd Gala for rescheduling events to allow the Handmade Parade to take place on the same day. With thousands of visitors expected and a full day of entertainment planned, it should also give a welcome boost to local businesses that suffered so badly in the floods.
Andrew Kim, Artistic Director of the Handmade Parade, said: "We all need to work together at a time like this and I think in the end, everyone will appreciate how our events helped each other. All these events on Saturday: two parades, the arts festival opening - it's going to be a massive celebration in our valley showing the world that rain and mud won't crush our spirits!"
"The Hebden Bridge Arts Festival will join us at Calder Holmes Park with some of their fantastic performances after the parade and we'll be making an appearance with some of our giant puppets at the Mytholmroyd Gala in the afternoon.
"We'll also be bringing the parade spirit to Market Street with a special visit from one of our giant puppets and parade musicians on Saturday. And we'll be donating a percentage of the money we collect on the day to Calderdale Community Foundation's flood appeal."
The parade will set off at 11am and participants are asked to gather at the Victoria Road workshops for the line up at 10am.
More than 700 people will be taking part in the parade, now in its fifth year. Thousands more are expected to line the route along Victoria Road, Valley Road, Bridge Gate and Holme Street to Calder Holmes Park.
This year's parade theme is The Enchanted Wood and, among the creations on display will be a leaf dragon, a white stag, a winter goddess and giant inflatable flowers. You can also expect to see woodland warriors, wolves on wheels and dancing bluebells in this unique walking wood.
The Handmade Parade Street Band, led by Peadar Long, and the Handmade Parade Samba Band and Handmade Second Line Boneshakers will be getting those dancing feet moving. And organisers are hoping that Blowjangles and Beatlife from Liverpool may also be able to make the rearranged date.
Organisers are urging spectators to try to spread out along the entire route and stress that the best vantage points, particularly for those with children, will be Valley Road and Holme Street. They are also encouraging those taking part or watching to walk or use public transport. For more details about the parade go to www.handmadeparade.co.uk
See HebWeb Gallery of photos 2011 - 2 March 2012
HebWeb News: Prepare to be enchanted by the biggest and best Handmade Parade yet (June 2012)
HebWeb News: Handmade Parade 2012: Come and make magic in The Enchanted Wood (29 May 2012)
HebWeb News: Handmade Parade 2012: Join the skills classes (1st May 2012)
HebWeb News: Parade Spark Day is a Hit (March 2012)
HebWeb News: Handmade Parade to go ahead on 23 June
HebWeb News: The Fabulous Feast delights Hebden Bridge - June 2011
HebWeb Forum thread - June 2011
HebWeb News: Handmade Parade: Get ready to make some mouth-watering food art - 7 June 2011
HebWeb News: Handmade Parade: Get ready to make some mouth-watering food art - 24 May 2011
HebWeb News: Handmade Parade will be a 'Fabulous Feast'
HebWeb News: Which will come first - the giant chicken or the eggs? - March 2011
HebWeb News - Feb-March 2011