Hebden Bridge Handmade Parade

Polly Checkland Harding
Hebden Bridge Handmade Parade
Handmade Parade

Hebden Bridge Handmade Parade at Calder Holmes Park, Entrance is free

The Hebden Bridge Handmade Parade is an incredible procession which courses through the centre of Hebden Bridge every year, featuring giant handmade puppets, costumes, performances, music and dancing. It’s an amazing spectacle, with up to 1,000 people parading through the streets of the town, and thousands more watching from the sides. The procession starts at the Handmade Parade workshops on Victoria street, winding its way through Hebden Bridge to Calder Homes Park, where there’s a musical finale and mini festival, complete with street theatre, dance, a picnic and food stalls by local vendors. In 2019, the provocation for the festivities was ‘Once upon a time’, with appearances from fantastical people and creatures from European myth and folklore – as well as a warning not to stray from the path…

This is, then, a uniquely creative and magical event, perhaps especially so because it’s deeply rooted in community engagement. In the run up to each Handmade Parade, there are three weeks of workshops, open to anybody who’d like to help make costumes, parade art, headpieces, banners and even the giant puppets that dominate the route. Donation is requested on entry, but all of the materials are provided, as well as help from an experienced team of local, professional carnival artists. It’s the people of Hebden Bridge who really help to make this festival what it is, their own involvement and imaginations that bring the Handmade Parade to life. There are even parade classes teaching Samba band skills or walking on stilts – no previous experience required.

The Hebden Bridge Handmade Parade was started in 2008 by a puppeteer who specialised in giant creations and large-scale community performances, Andrew Kim. The nighttime Lamplighter Festival in Todmorden followed, as did further community spectacles. The Handmade Parade remains a unique event, with its own celebratory atmosphere, which rightly draws crowds both locally and on the train from Manchester, Halifax and further afield. Time a visit with the festivities, and find out why they’re still so special.

Hebden Bridge Handmade Parade at Calder Holmes Park, Entrance is free

Where to go near Hebden Bridge Handmade Parade

Vocation & Co
Hebden Bridge
Bar or Pub
Vocation & Co

Vocation & Co is a much loved independent bar and kitchen from local Hebden Bridge brewery offering a selection of cask and keg beers.

Woody's Pizza
Hebden Bridge
Restaurant
Woody’s Pizza

Woody’s Pizza offer artisan NY style 12″ & 14” dough, skin on fries, killer garlic breads, locally made donuts, ice-cream and more.

The Trades Club
Hebden Bridge
Music venue
The Trades Club

The Trades Club is a celebrated small music venue and socialist members cooperative combining standout gigs with support for political cause.

Hebden Bridge Market
Hebden Bridge
Shop
Hebden Bridge Market

Open four days a week in St. George’s Square car park selling a medley of new goods, second-hand antiques, arts and crafts and local produce.

The Book Case
Hebden Bridge
Shop
The Book Case

This independent bookshop has been selling a wide range of fiction and non-fiction titles, children’s books, local history titles, unusual literary gifts and gorgeous stationery for nearly 30 years, and hosts author events, book signings and a writer’s group.

Drink?
Hebden Bridge
Shop
Drink?

Drink? is an indie bottle shop offering a wide selection of craft beer, spirits and natural wine with a new bar out-back.

What's on: Festivals

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