THE famous Slaithwaite Moonraking Festival cele- brates its 21st anniversary this week.
Saturday will see more than 2,000 people from all over the area descend on the village for the festivities.
They will gather in the centre of the village in readiness for the annual lantern procession.
Families have been at special lantern-making workshops all week, to design and make their lanterns out of willow and paper.
The lanterns will reflect this year's anniversary theme and include candles and cakes, as well as barrels and canal-related designs all linked to the legend of moonraking.
The festival has been celebrated during February half- term week for the last 20 years.
The event comes from a local 19th-century legend.
This tells of smugglers who were bringing barrels of illicit drink by boat along the Huddersfield Narrow Canal.
They saw the Customs officer on their trail - so to avoid arrest they pushed the barrels over the side of the boat.
Later that evening they returned under a full moon to recover the barrels - but were found by the Customs officer as they were raking them in.
They escaped arrest by pretending to be drunk and claiming they were trying to rescue the moon, which had fallen in the canal.
Saturday's procession will end by the side of the canal in the centre of Slaithwaite.
It will be followed by a spectacular sound and light show at the site and a family ceilidh at the Colne Valley Leisure Centre.
Stuart Render, from the festival organising group, said: "Moonraking has been bringing the whole community together for the last 20 years.
"It is wonderful that the enthusiasm and commitment of so many people from Slaithwaite and the Colne Valley has meant that this year we are able to celebrate 21 years of the legend of moonraking," Mr Render added.