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Stalybridge in a spin over arrival of Cotton Carnival

A magical globally inspired carnival is coming to Stalybridge in September – and it's not too late to get involved.

Cotton Carnival will bring a sparkling slice of Brazil and Notting Hill to the streets of Stalybridge and everyone is invited to take part.

With influences from around the world, the parade will nevertheless have a unique Tameside flavour, exploring the rich history of the region’s cotton industry and featuring hundreds of members of the diverse local community.

Mossley carnival group Global Grooves wants to recruit over 200 local people as dancers, drummers, brass players and puppeteers. There will also be opportunities to help out behind the scenes at Global Grooves’ headquarters The Vale, including making costumes, flags and puppets as well as supporting the event on the day as part of the carnival crew.

The team hopes that schools, community groups, families and individuals will sign up ahead of two days of intensive rehearsals at the start of September before taking to the streets to celebrate their talents.

Cotton Carnival explores Tameside’s renowned heritage of textiles and cotton spinning, discovering how this heritage intrinsically connects the borough to the rest of the world. It is taking place as part of Town of Culture Stalybridge Canal Weekend.

Cabasa CIC, also based at The Vale, has been appointed to oversee the visual direction of the parade, under lead artist Emily Wood.

Freya Bennett-Nielsen, producer at Global Grooves, said: “From marching bands, to carnival Morris groups, to Indian Dhol drummers, to Brazilian street bands, Tameside’s streets have always been alive with music.  What happens when we explore these traditions, uncover lost music, learn new skills and fuse cultures and worlds together.

“Tameside’s cotton mills may have long ago been converted into plush waterside apartments and arts centres, but our shared history in textiles production runs only just below the surface.

“Cotton Carnival explores the ideas, stories and people behind Tameside’s industrial past and its lively, multicultural present.

“Everyone who takes part in the parade will have the opportunity to learn, share and be creatively inspired by the threads running through our communities.”

Tameside Council assistant executive member for culture, heritage and digital inclusion Cllr Sangita Patel said: “I’m so excited about the Cotton Carnival as part of Gongoozler Fest – it will bring a fabulous festival atmosphere to the town while also being something inherently unique to Staybridge and its waterways, landscape, heritage and people.

“It is just one of our many Town of Culture summer events, which are bringing so many wonderful opportunities for residents, visitors and businesses and we encourage people to get involved.”

Cotton Carnival, which is funded by Tameside Council and Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), will take place in Stalybridge town centre on Sunday 11 September.

You can find out more about how to get involved in the Cotton Carnival on Global Grooves’ website https://www.globalgrooves.org/get-involved/cotton-carnival or by calling 0161 870 6895.

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