Magical day as village became Oz amid music and family fun

Fun at Heptonstall Festival
Fun at Heptonstall Festival

Hundreds of children and families made their way down Heptonstall’s yellow cobbled road to celebrate the Wizard of Oz-themed annual festival.

There were life-sized tin men made out of cardboard boxes, Dorothys dressed in the blue and white checkered dresses and a Wicked Witch of the West that stayed in character for the day.

While the festival-goers walked towards the church ruins, the Red Rose band played the ‘Yellow Brick Road’ getting in spirit for the day.

Ursula Holden-Gill, a community story teller, was dressed as the Good Witch of the North and handed cupcakes out to the costume-donning children.

“It was a real handmade parade and it was great. We did workshops with the children beforehand at the school to make some of the costumes,” Ursula added.

Children from Heptonstall School spent a few days before the festival making crowns, tin man hats, silver bracelets, wands and more.

Beth Hardman dressed her daughter Isobel up as Glinda - the Good Witch - for the day.

“We really enjoyed the parade and the day. We have only been here a year but love the festival as we know more people now.

“I bought Isobel’s dress but she made the hat in school and we did face paint on the day,” said Beth.

Erica Mathews, part of the Red Rose band, played alongside five of the members as everyone paraded through the village.

“We were thrilled to be a part of it. We played Follow the Yellow Brick Road all way through the cobbles,” said Erica.

The parade began a day and evening of entertainment as festival events took place in several places in the village.

Ranging from family events at Heptonstall Bowling Club, including a “Scrufts” dog show, there were stalls selling a variety of goods and crafts and plenty of music.

There were two stages in operation, at Weavers Square and the Old Church Ruins, showcasing a wide range of music throughout the afternoon, the latter venue hosting a classical concert by Due Voci to close the festival in the evening.