Tameside Winter Carnival travels to a different Tameside town each year, designed to bring out the crowds and add a little sparkle to our streets when the nights are dark and the temperatures are nippy.
Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council have invited us to perform at the carnival most years, with our bloco and brass, our puppets and percussionists, and our dancers leading the parade and raising smiles from the crowds.
But, for us, Tameside Winter Carnival is more than just a pretty parade on a dark winter’s night. Commissions from Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council have enabled our artists to develop their skills and practice, and reach new audiences.
For example, in 2017, three of our artists were commissioned to create new puppets inspired by local legends and customs: a May Queen; a Black Knight, in reference to the Ashton-under-Lyne Riding of the Black Lad custom; and Rimmon, the water nymph that fell foul of the Alder and Alphin giants. After their premiere at the Winter Carnival, these puppets unfortunately succumbed to fire in the following year.
But in 2019, we were back. With the theme of Northern Lights, our artists were commissioned to create a giant willowy figure called Aurora, a beautiful homage to those mysterious lights in the skies, accompanied by a wily artic fox.