Fun for all at 24th festival

Cleckheaton Folk Festival 08
Cleckheaton Folk Festival 08

CLECKHEATON Folk Festival is set to take over the town’s streets next weekend to provide fun for all the family.

The festival, which is now in its 24th year, will see parts of the town centre transformed with a continental market, parades, street entertainers and impromptu musical performances.

Organisers think that around 2,000 people will descend on the town across the weekend, plus plenty of local people joining in.

Festival director Dave Minich was optimistic that the weather would stay clear for the weekend.

He said: “I’m looking forward to the weekend being a big success. I can’t wait to walk around the town and see everyone’s smiling faces, enjoying themselves and the music.

“Last year, everything worked like a Swiss watch – there’s no reason that this year’s festival can’t be the same.”

The festival has embraced the small venue initiative with several key performance sites set up alongside the town hall showpiece sessions.

Town centre pubs such as the Wickham Arms, the Commercial, the George and the Rose and Crown will be taken over, with singarounds and fun folk games being played amid the clinking of pint glasses.

The Wickham Arms will also host a dance-off in the car park on Saturday afternoon and is seen by many as being at the heart of festival activities.

Simon Pawson, landlord of the George, said: “We got involved as a venue for the first time last year and it’s been really well received. We’ve had some of our regulars go up to see the festival acts as well.

“It shows what we can do as a town and that there’s good people in Cleckheaton. It should be a good weekend.”

The Family Fun Day takes place on Savoy Square during the Sunday from noon-4pm. There will be entertainment for the children including face painting, a bouncy castle, a play area and a Punch and Judy stall.

Speciality acts are also planned, with stilt walkers and Zooted Cool Dudes and Hippy Chicks putting a smile on the youngsters’ faces.

There is also a craft fair at Howard Park School, where local organisations are being offered the chance to use the school grounds for fundraising.