Meet the magical Snow Lion, an animatronic puppet character who will be roaring into Huddersfield on Saturday, March 10.
The gentle giant from the children’s book The Snow Lion, by Jim Helmore and Richard Jones, is appearing at PPG Canalside, Huddersfield Town’s training ground, as a guest of both the football club and Huddersfield Literature Festival.
In a pre-match event for families the Snow Lion will be going on two walkabouts – from 12.30pm until 1pm and 1.45pm until 2.15pm – and will be happy to pose for photographs and selfies with young fans.
As well as meeting the storybook character, youngsters can take part in free Snow Lion mask-making activities and the first 30 children to arrive for the event on the day will be presented with copies of The Snow Lion.
Huddersfield Literature Festival director Michelle Hodgson says the event promises to be a magical experience for children. She explained: “I knew of the book and when I saw the Snow Lion character I thought it would be really nice to bring the two together. The book is so beautiful and has a lovely story. The lion is a gentle giant and children will love him.”
The Snow Lion visit is the second family event of the festival, which runs from March 8 to 18. The first, Stafflex Free Family Day, is on Saturday, March 3, at North Huddersfield Trust School. Doors open at 10am and close at 3.30pm. The day includes Bollywood dancing, storytelling, magic, balloon modelling, games, crafts and a showing of the film Charlotte’s Web (from 2pm).
This year’s festival has proved to be popular with families – a further children’s event, a sculpture workshop based on Ted Hughes’ The Iron Man - is now fully booked.
Several high-profile events are also filling up rapidly. Tickets for an evening with Huddersfield poet Simon Armitage have all been snapped up and only a few seats are left for Sir Patrick Stewart in Conversation with Nick Ahad, Helen Pankhurst in Conversation with Joanne Harris, the Dine with Crime lunch and the Literary Afternoon Tea with Tim Dowling and Vaseem Khan.
However, there are still plenty of fascinating events to attend, including creative writing workshops led by experienced teachers, as well as theatre, film and street poetry. And if you’re looking for something completely different check out the Polari Up North LGBT event on Wednesday, March 14, which offers an evening of humour, music and comic verse that is always a festival favourite, or the Fables & Fiction Cosplay Ball on Saturday, March 17, open to all ages and to everyone who has a favourite literary character they’d like to dress up as.
Now firmly established as a literary festival of substance, HLF began in 2006 and attracts writers and performers from all over the UK. It is, however, a Northern festival and this year is drawing many of its crowd-pullers from Yorkshire.
For a programme and ticket details visit huddlitfest.org.uk