Residents are getting ready to go cuckoo to mark the start of spring at a well-loved Marsden festival.
Hundreds of visitors are expected to turn the village into a thriving cultural hive when the annual Cuckoo weekend arrives on April 25 and 26.
More dance acts than ever before have been enlisted to help celebrate the 22nd year of the quirky festival in response to requests from previous years.
Groups such as the Spiral Dancers and the Marsden Belly Dancers will take over central areas such as Argyle Street, Peel Street and Marsden Park on the main event day on Saturday from 11am, along with more than 10 performing arts groups from around the county and local schools.
They will be joined by numerous vintage engines, donkeys, craft and activities stalls and rides, who will entertain crowds in the run up to the festival’s most popular moment when the grand cuckoo procession rolls through the streets at 3pm.
This will be followed by the Mellor Bridge duck race and an outdoor band evening which will run at the United Church.
Meanwhile, on Friday evening young revellers will be led by story teller Alan Schofield on the fantastical catch the cuckoo walk around the area while the Black Joak Folk night will open its doors to performers and musicians at the Marsden Band Room from 8pm.
The festival was established to commemorate the local legend which states that upon discovering the cuckoo, which was believed to mark the start of spring, Marsden residents built a structure to try capture it so that the good weather would stay.
One of the event’s committee members and National Trust community engagement officer Alyssa Young said: “We’re really excited about this year’s festival and hope that the good weather stays with us while we celebrate.
“The festival is an important tradition in Marsden and it’s a pleasure for the National Trust to be involved with this community event.
“It’s great fun and is a good way to highlight all the creative talent we have in the valley. It’s also a good opportunity to bring people’s attention to the cuckoo, whose numbers are decreasing nationally.”
For more information visit the website.
Tickets for the duck race can be bought on the day from the National Trust stall.
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