Organisers of one of Colne Valley’s most popular festivals are looking for help to celebrate its 30th anniversary.
The biannual Slaithwaite Moonraking Festival is pencilled in for February 2015 promising a week of family fun and eccentric heritage.
Organisers are hoping artists, businesses and villagers will join them in preparation for the festival, which will culminate in a lantern parade and ‘raking of the moon’ from the Huddersfield Narrow Canal, on February 21.
Organisers of the festival have been working with schools to create lanterns for the festival, which next year will have a landmark theme.
Children at Slaithwaite CE School have been taking photos of local, national and foreign landmarks to inspire lantern designs.
Organiser Gill Bond said: “2015 is a landmark year for us; that’s why we’re looking at a landmarks theme.
“We are planning an exciting programme of creative activities, but we need local artists, businesses and festival supporters to get on board now with the planning and programming.
“We have held a festival recruitment event for people to drop in and find out how they can help make Moonraking 2015 a special 30th year extravaganza.”
Traditionally, the week-long Moonraking Festival includes a mixture of folk music, art and storytelling performances and workshops around Slaithwaite.
The finale comprises a night lantern parade through Slaithwaite and along the canal, finishing with a raking of a model moon out of the water.
Inspiration for the festival dates back to the early 19th century when the majority of Britain’s canals were built.
Canals became smuggling routes and ‘moonraking’ became a term for sneaking untaxed goods along the network.
According to legend, the term originates from an excuse a smuggler gave when challenged by excise officers.
Playing the simpleton, the smuggler claimed he was raking the moon out of the canal during a full moon.
For more information about Slaithwaite Moonraking Festival visit: www.slaithwaitemoonraking.org or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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