MORE than 300 participants took to the streets on Saturday for the first Hebden Bridge Handmade Parade.
The water-themed community-generated parade, organised by arts group HEADS and Thingumajig Theatre made its way from Valley Road to Calder Holmes Park where it opened the World on Your Doorstep Festival.
Mayor of Hebden Royd Coun Susan Press said: "This seriously illustrates that there probably is nowhere else in England quite like Hebden Bridge."
Led by a pair of musical geese with attitude, the crowds were entertained with fish, frogs, midges, kingfishers, geese and pirates in narrow boat galleons. The parade was a vibrant mix of costumes made in open community workshops mixed with awe-inspiring giant creatures and floats made by local professional parade artists, including three mysterious water bearer puppets made by Horse and Bamboo associate director Alison Duddle, a majestic heron made by Kerith Ogden, huge cardboard galleons by Jonny Quick, a mechanical swimmer, a big whimsical green creature and a Rain Queen made by Thingumajig Theatre.
Rousing parade music was provided by the Peace Artistes, Beatlife (a Cuban/Samba band from Liverpool) and Mbackeh Darboe, a renowned drummer from the Gambia. The parade culminated at the World on Your Doorstep Festival with a song, especially written for the occasion by Kathy Bradley sung by Calder Valley Voice and the parade participants.
"I'm amazed by how quickly and whole-heartedly this community got behind the idea of a non-commercial art parade," said Andrew Kim, stilter and artistic director of the parade. "This area is bursting at the seams with creative people hungry to make art together; we simply provided an opportunity."
Based on the success of this first year, HEADS and Thingumajig Theatre have already started discussing the possibility of making this an annual event.
"Superb," one spectator said, "The costumes were truly wonderful, a much higher standard than I have ever seen at any similar event in Hebden." While another said: "We were so blown away by the fantastic puppets and fabulous energy of the parade. My two friends and I felt quite tearful that our little town has so much talent on offer. We felt so lucky to be living here today."
l There is still time to send your best photograph of the parade and win a prize! Your photo needs to capture the fun, colour, excitement or movement of the parade and can be a portrait, a group shot or may capture abstract detail. The photos will be judged by professional photographer Nigel Hillier and all entries will be exhibited in the window of The Old Treehouse on Market Street, at the end of August. The winners and runners up in each category will be printed in a future edition of the Hebden Bridge Times and there will be prizes donated by Boots and the Hebden Bridge Times.
11 years and under; 12 - 18 years and over 18.Entry Requirements
1, Only one entry per person
2, Please send a 6”x4” print of your photo with the following details clearly written on the back
• Name (first name and surname)
• Age (if adult write ‘over 18’)
• Contact telephone number
3, Please also send a digital copy of your photo on CD. This is so organisers can enlarge the winning photos and so that the Hebden Bridge Times can print the winning photos.
4,The deadline for all entries is Sunday 3 August
5, Please hand deliver or post entries to Photography Competition, HEADS, Hangingroyd Lane, Hebden Bridge, HX7 7DD. (last building on the right on Hangingroyd Lane as you walk up from the market)
For more photos and a video clip when it becomes available visit www.hebdenbridgeparade.org