Moonraking – Get ready for a night to remember!

The streets of Slaithwaite will be all lit up in a spectacular community celebration this Saturday (18 th February) from 6pm.
The 37-year-old Slaithwaite Moonraking Festival is back for the first time since 2017, thanks to fundraising and crowdfunding by local people, support from local businesses and grants from Arts Council England, Kirklees Council and One Community. This is a magical participatory event where the whole community have come together to make it happen. Moonraking is a registered charity, organised by volunteers and supported by professional artists. Local people of all ages have been busily making stunning willow and tissue paper lanterns on the theme of water and performers have been getting ready to bring cheer to the dark winter evening.

Over 200 lanterns have been made in sold out open access workshops, and sessions in community groups and schools. There are some really imaginative creations which will amaze and delight. Giant raindrops, magnificent water creatures, giant cups of tea and a sprinkling of stunning moons and stars. All made in Moonraking’s signature white for extra style. These will form a beautiful illuminated procession accompanied by lively bands and some fabulous
surprises along the route. There will be street entertainment, delicious food and drink, live music and a large scale re-enactment of the legend of the Moonrakers, a light-hearted tale of quick-witted smugglers, the moon and the canal.

Assemble from 5.30pm on Carr Lane for street entertainment, 6.30pm for the Moonraking legend re-enactment.

Watch out for Fettle and Fable  ‘Eek!’ a walkabout shadow theatre performance from The Usherette, featuring mice, mischief and mayhem as we follow our dreams and reach for the moon! Flat Cap Brass Band infectious, energetic, fun, friendly, brass band from the heart of Yorkshire, wearing their trademarked flat caps! The Peace Artistes fabulous ever popular West Yorkshire street band “rocking with rhythm and pulsating with passion!” folk, jazz and world music.
Boom Bikes The Astounding BoomBike Sound System takes entertainment to the audience – up close and personal. Good Vibes Everywhere!
Banda Na Rua Samba but not as you know it! Blending world music, funk, drum‘n bass. Head turning, foot-tapping sound that makes you want to dance! Accompanied by local percussionists from the music workshops.
Handmade Samba Band Led by amazing percussionist Mitch Oldham, the Handmade Samba Band was founded in early 2009 to be the house band of the Hebden Bridge Handmade Parade and beyond!

Musica Band Musica Colne Valley Intermediate and Senior Wind Bands have been working with renowned Street Band Leader, Paedar Long. Young musicians are to play their first ever carnival parade for the Moonraking grand finale.

Far Cry Acapella Acapella group singing harmony songs from different cultures and traditions in a mix of songs inspired by the moon and the festival theme of water. Singing on corners and under bridges around the procession route!
Switch on Drama Youth Theatre catch two different groups of local young people performing excellent Moonraking Mummers and The Duck Squad with costumes created by members of the HabDab Club. Niamh Stacey poi spinner Lancaster University Light spinners illuminated circus treats Trans-Mutation’s Giant Sea dragon and roving Angler Fish illuminated puppets Neptune illuminated puppet by Harriet Dyson Giant Kraken lantern installation designed by Alan Scully and made by local school children and Be More Outdoors installed opposite the Shoulder of Mutton. Floating Lanterns Mermaid by Frances Noon Lantern Barge by The Watershed Holiday Club and the Moonraking Vintage Frog. The Raise the Moon Soundtrack featuring contributors Colne Valley Musica Strings, Banda Nua Samba, Colne Valley Boys’ Choir, Xylosound, Jess Baker and the Watershed Singers. Mixed and
mastered by Noah Burton of Under Wraps Music. Fire Effects from Optimum Fireworks Window pictures houses and businesses along the procession route have made illuminated window pictures inspired by our Moonshine Festival. Thanks to Globe Arts Studio and Slaithwaite Library for running workshops.
The Moonraking lantern procession will leave Carr Lane around 6.50pm, wind around Crimble Corner, uphill on Crimble Bank, along Royds Street, down Bankgate, around Howgate Road, across the bridge, along the canal and back along Carr Lane. There will be a rolling road closure to traffic over this time. TG Events will look after event safety and security.

The event will end with a closing ceremony where the Moon is raised back into the sky. The event is free. Everyone is welcome to attend.
Car parking in the village is at a premium. If you can travel by public transport please do. You could also consider parking outside of the village and walking. Here is a list of car parks for those who really need (please ignore the Marsden car park listed here).

After the event there will be Moonraking After Parties to encourage visitors to enjoy warm village hospitality and to support our hardworking local businesses.
Family Friendly Engine House Slaithwaite Fire Station after the parade from 8pm. Extra performances from the ever popular Peace Artistes and the moonlit harmonies of Far Cry, Acapella.

We can’t wait for the hugely anticipated Moonraking Festival 2023 to begin in the village THIS Saturday 18th February. We are celebrating in style so if you’re looking for fun, come down and see us! No need to book, just head on down!

February 25, 2023 — Holly Whyatt-Brady