More about Moonraking.
The Festival Week is the main visible face of Moonraking, but that's not all there is to it. There are lots of related projects of various types going on all the time. In 2011, we started the "Wild about Wool" program, which teaches Slawit folk lots about wool, its production, industry and its many uses. This project was so big that we had to set up a full department to look after it, and it ran from 2010 until Spring 2012, culminating in an exhibition at local museums.
Some years earlier, we produced an archive of the Moonraking Festival, funded by a Heritage Lottery grant. This work included teaching children to act, do surveys of local people, create artwork and use libraries, amongst other subjects.
In 2008, we started to incorporate story telling into our repertoire, and it proved very successful. Now we have around four "Tunes and Tales" nights at The Watershed 22, Bridge Street, Slaithwaite, where local groups and individual artists are invited to perform in front of their colleagues and the public. You can see reports of this on our Face book page on the contacts page.
As the Festival approaches, we run training courses in lantern making for potential instructors. When trained, some of them help us to show the village children (aged from 6 to 96) how to construct their lanterns for the parade.
During Festival week, lots of "Fringe Events" take place besides Tunes and Tales, such as animation, hats, music and clog dancing workshops, story telling, music and radio events.
A Ceilidh is the event that starts the week off on the first Saturday, with dancing to a band and usually a pie and pea supper. Other organisations also join in the fun, with the local Methodist Church hosting a "Yarn around Town" which is a story trail around the village with tales being told on the hoof, finishing with cakes and coffee. Andy Stamp, our resident musical postman often puts on a magical musical event for the younger children and their families, despite threatening to retire for the last few years.
At the end of a festival, we thank every one of our helpers, and take a well earned break for a month, before starting to plan the next one. Planning meetings are held every month where we raise funds and organise programs. As the festival date approaches, the meetings become fortnightly and then weekly, until in the last few days it is continuos activity.
Then it is on with the next festival.
Our Organising Committee consists of around eight regular members, with others being called in for specific duties when needed, so there is lots of work for everyone. If you would like to join us, then please get in touch. No qualifications needed other than honesty and a will to work!
We would not be able to do any of this if it were not for our Sponsors, to which we give a great vote of thanks. These include the hundreds of people who throw their coins in our bucket collection, or buy our raffle tickets. Keep up the good work!
This is a typical Moonraking Festival scenario - each one is different. 2013 will definitely be different.