MOSSLEY IS gearing up for a unique night time event to put other Tameside towns in the shade.
After all it’s not every night you are guaranteed to see four-metre high peacocks parading through the town.
The illuminated, over-sized carnival of animals on Thursday, November 24 will also include an elephant, monkey, lion and a giraffe as the first annual Mossley Light Festival procession comes to life from 6.30pm.
If the prospect of a spectacular free light show isn’t sufficient to tempt you outdoors, then the town’s Christmas Lights’ switch on to follow completes the evening’s entertainment programme.
Parade producer and local boy Leon Patel says: “Mossley is an incredible and creative place with a long and continuing history of arts and artists.
“This is the first year of a new annual festival for Mossley which we hope will not only bring light to the heart of the community but encourage new people to the town to witness the spectacle and appreciate all we have to offer.”
The Festival is set to transform the landscape with newly commissioned illuminated artists’ installations, a visual art exhibition in a series of train stations and an ambitious carnival-inspired lantern parade like no other.
Other visual highlights include whirling Trinidadian devils and billowing ships’ masts held high.
Reflecting the multicultural history of the town, the parade’s global influences come from China, India, Trinidad & Tobago, Venezuela, Brazil and the UK.
It’s a nocturnal cavalcade that tells two tales. One is Global Grooves’ new interpretation of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, originally presented at Liverpool’s Brazilica and Manchester Jazz Festival earlier this year.
The Latin American-inspired retelling has been reimagined for a night time setting and fully illuminated for the first time.
The second is an entirely new work from Mossley based international arts social enterprise Bangdrum CIC: the story of the life stages of a woman.
Three four-metre-high fully lit puppets depict the character throughout her life. She is seen to interact with the hills and nature, the birth of the industrial revolution and the ascent of modern technology.
The puppets and surrounding elements have been created during workshops with visiting international artists and the local community, including schools and older people’s groups.
To build on the excitement of the parade, five local artists have been commissioned to produce site specific after dark works for the town.
Melanie Robert’s illuminated white mountain hare has its origins in deconstructed elements of traditional Indian clothing design. The character will react with the environment and the audience using modern light technologies.
Gordon Banks’ Perpetual Variation sees one large revolving sphere inside another, reflecting and affecting the light from within.
Sculptor Mike Green has had work exhibited at Hampton Court Palace and likes to work with wood, metal, mosaics, stone, withy, fire and water.
He is making a series of light sculptures along the parade route in unexpected places with silhouette screens lit by LED lights.
The subject matter for the screens will enhance the narrative of the procession and celebrate the local area.
Anne Gilligan’s The Green Monster Gilly Wagon is part lantern, part fortune-teller’s caravan, part post box. It promises to listen to and offer wise advice to parade goers of all ages.
Carnival artist and animator Chris Anderson of No Eyed Theatre will be producing a selection of large scale cleverly illuminated animal puppets to feature in the parade.
Chris’ work has featured at London’s Olympic park and for the past six years at the Manchester Day Parade.
For two weeks prior to the Festival, Mossley artist Chris Cyprus’ Northern Lights series will be on display at Mossley and Stalybridge Railway Stations.
The unusual exhibition space is perhaps the most natural home for some of the 200-strong series as it depicts night time scenes along Northern Rail’s network, including Mossley, Stalybridge, Saddleworth, Marsden, Stockport and Robin Hood’s Bay in North Yorkshire.
The Light Festival has been made possible due to the co-operation and collaborations of a number of event partners: Global Grooves, Bangdrum CIC, Mossley Town Council, Mossley Sports and Leisure Forum, The Vale, Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council, Cabasa Carnival Arts, The Mayor’s Charity Committee, Mossley Town Team and Handmade Parade.
Funders are: Arts Council England, Big Lottery Celebrate Fund, The People’s Health Trust, Tameside 4 Good, Bangdrum CIC, British Airways and The Vale.
Light Festival Timetable
- 5.45pm-8.15 pm: MC and DJ Gene Giles
- 6-6.15pm: St John’s Band, Mossley
- 6.20-6.35pm: 2 Boards and a Passion Theatre Group
- 6.40-6.55pm: Ukulele Band
- 7-7.15pm: Next Generation (excerpts from Grease)
- 7.40-7.55pm: Communal singing with Good Vibrations
- 7.55-8.00pm: Christmas Lights switch on
In addition: Drumz Aloud will play between 6-7pm at Hem Place. The Parade will start at 7pm and be on site between 7.15-7.30pm.