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Marsden Cuckoo Day festival to be celebrated this Saturday

The quirky event, which features a giant cuckoo procession, celebrates a local legend

A legend will come to life at a quirky festival this week.

Marsden’s annual Cuckoo Day will land in the village next Saturday, to celebrate an important part of its folklore.

Marsden Cuckoo Festival 2015

The 24th event of its kind is expected to attract crowds from afar to see the sight of a giant cuckoo being paraded through the streets and enjoy dozens of free entertainment acts.

There are also events 24 hours earlier on Friday to herald the quirky festival.

According to legend, people from the village, known as Marsden cuckoos, tried to capture the small bird in order to try keep good weather that they thought it brought.

Marsden Cuckoo festival 2015. Fiddle 'N' Feet morris dancers.

As the story goes, they tried to build an extra part of wall to box it in but the bird flew away.

The main event will begin at 10am on Saturday, with a cuckoo-making workshop for the procession taking place at Marsden Library in the Mechanics Institute on Peel Street.

What to expect - see pictures from last year's event below.

The makers will then be able to join the parade with the large wicker-based cuckoo, which starts and ends at Wessen Court.

Face painting, donkey rides, puppetry, a treasure hunt and children’s rides and vintage games will take over the village throughout the day.

Read more: What's the history behind the Imbolc fire festival?

Read more: Marsden's Cuckoo Day 2015 to hit village this weekend for 23rd annual event

And dozens of dance and music acts have been booked to perform, including the popular Frumptam Guggen Band, Mucipups ukulele group and Unity Voices.

But the celebrations will start ahead of the big day on Friday, when two events will be held.

Marsden Cuckoo festival 2015. Young "Thieving Magpies" joining in.

One is the catch a cuckoo walk, which starts at 6.15pm outside the Mechanics Institute.

It will be followed by the Black Joak Folk Night at the Royal British Legion on Grange Estate at 8pm.

“We’re really excited”, said Sharon Turner, one of the festival’s committee members.

“We go for an ethos of ‘if it’s not broken, don’t fix it’ so we’re welcoming back a lot of the acts we’ve had in previous years.

“The familiarity of the day is what it’s about.

Marsden Cuckoo festival 2015. The Thieving Magpies gather around the Marsden Cuckoo.

“We pride ourselves on putting on a really family friendly day.

“But it’s really important to keep it going because there aren’t a lot of places these days that stick with these traditions.

“Putting it on gives us a sense of community and identity.”



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