THE first ever Celebrate carnival and arts festival got a collective thumbs up from the people of Mossley.
Hundreds of visitors enjoyed the eclectic mix of entertainment on offer at Egmont Street playing fields.
Music and dance featured at the core of Celebrate but there was so much more with street theatre, circus artists, food and drink stalls, face painting, bouncy castles and even a dinosaur that wouldn’t have looked out of place in Jurassic Park.
But only a few knew the event had been organised and devised by a 16-year-old school girl from Carrbrook.
And Freya Nielsen is ecstatic that six months spent bringing all the different strands of Celebrate together was worth the effort.
“It was absolutely brilliant-more than I could have ever asked for,” she said. “Everything went to plan.
“The volunteer team was there to help, all the infrastructure was set up perfectly and there was so much going on.
“So many people from Mossley came out to see us, far more than I expected. The whole day was just fabulous.”
Planning for Celebrate took place at the Vale community arts centre in Micklehurst; the nerve centre for the equally stunning Mossley Light Festival that was the envy of Tameside last November.
The Vale is also home to Global Grooves, an organisation set-up by Mossley boy, Leon Patel, in conjunction with Holly Prest.
Global Grooves, through its Future Leaders’ project, trains young people in music, dance and visual arts.
Freya was one such youngster who took and finished her Future Leaders’ course in April 2016.
“At the start of this year Leon asked if I wanted to work alongside them and have a go at doing a new project they had received funding for.
“They were always there to support me along the way and offer advice if there was anything I wasn’t sure of.
“But it was very much like ‘here’s the reins’ take it away. At the time though it wasn’t set in stone as a festival. It could have been anything.
“The future leaders project did set me off into the world of carnival arts and I wanted to give something back.”
Freya, who recently started an apprenticeship in business marketing, combined her Celebrate duties with studying for GCSEs at Mossley Hollins High School.
And neither aspect of her busy life suffered as she gained 10 passes from A+ to C.
“I hope Celebrate is on again next year because I would still want to be part if. And I am sure the people of Mossley hope it is on again. It was such a success it would be ridiculous not to.”
Councillor Chris Lyness, the Mayor of Mossley, was just one of the people bowled over by Celebrate’s diversity and spectacle.
“I cannot find enough words to express what a wonderful event this was,” she said.
“Led by the Vale, it was absolutely wonderful to see so much going on for children and people of all ages.
“Well done Freya. It was such a wonderful experience and it was obvious that everyone was enjoying themselves.
“Thank you so much to all those involved for the entertainment, food, organisation, security and especially the carnival atmosphere.
“And thank you to everyone who has contributed to the funds raised for the light parade in November. A very special day and a true Celebration.