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Family Festival 2016

Events for Families, Children and Young People


So what’s in store for 2016….


‘Let there be dragons!’  Do hope there are some children out there who aren’t afraid to come 

along and meet our festival dragon this year at Holmfirth Library!  New to the festival Eden 

Ballantyne will be entertaining young children (and those young at heart) with his pet dragon.  

Or if the ‘Wild West’ is more up your street, join the cowboys from the ‘Bread and Butter 

Theatre Company’ as they gallop through Holmfirth on Saturday afternoon.

Holmfirth plans to make history with one hundred ukulele players at the Methodist church 

grounds on the Saturday from tiny tots to grandparents taking part, and the Spiral Maypole 

dancers will both perform and provide you with an opportunity to take part.  Wooldale Junior 

School have been involved in an exciting Heritage lottery funded project studying local 

community pageants of the 1930s and will debut in Holmfirth with a pageant they have 

written themselves.  Once again Meltham Morris Minors from Meltham C of E School, having 

recently performed on the stage at the Lawrence Batley Theatre, will be painting their faces 

and clashing their sticks as they demonstrate the tradition of border Morris dancing.  

The Hey Diddles are taking us on a Treasure Hunt on Sunday followed by the ever popular 

Family Ceilidh with our favourite ‘Good Eggs’

So take a closer look and plan your festival weekend….


Saturday 7th May


Story Telling:  


‘Dragon Tales’:  Interactive Family Story Telling with Eden Ballantyne.  

Eden created Stories Alive as a way of getting his head full of crazy historical characters into 

the world.  Having spent years creating stories and characters for a variety of touring theatre 

in education companies, museums and schools, he is now an independent story teller. He 

will be telling two stories with his pet dragon – come and meet it!  Suitable for young children 

throughout primary age range.  All children must be accompanied by an adult.


Holmfirth Library: 10.30-10.50am   11.30-11.50am   1.30- 1.50pm   2.30-2.50pm  


The Loathsome Worm of Spindleston Hill:  A strange dragon appears on Spindleston Hill, 

who will be brave enough to conquer this ferocious beast? Join Sener the Saxon Storyteller 

for an interactive story, where anyone could be the champion.


A Dragons Tale:  When terrifying strange noises come from the mountains, all the villages 

are scared. Has the dreadful Krackle Dragon returned? Only Gitta and Olaf, are brave 

enough go to and investigate. Join Sener the Saxon storyteller for an interactive story 



The Bread and Butter Theatre present….


 ‘The Wacky Wild West Show– yeeha!’


12.45-1.30pm Methodist Church Gardens    2.30-3.00pm on Hollowgate    


Join crazy cowboys Tex Sylvester and Rodeo Rex, for a rootin’ tootin’ Wild West Show. 

Expect Stetsons, ill-fitting moustaches and cowboy comedy from these outlaws of the Wild 

West (well…. Cumbria). Two of the funniest guys you are ever likely to meet! These two 

cowboys provide fantastic public interaction with young and old alike – it doesn’t get better 

than this!


Wacky Walkabout with …. ‘Pete and Ged Moss and their Musical Wheelbarrow’   


3.30pm in procession


Leek FM’s expert Gardeners Pete and Ged Moss (complete with musical wheelbarrow) are 

on hand to answer all your horticultural and healthy lifestyle queries with their very own 

version of Gardeners’ Question Time. Which one do you prefer: Britney Spears or Garden 

Shears?    (Radio Leeds ‘Sunday Gardening’ presenter Tim, a regular to the festival – watch 

out for these guys – a bit of competition!)


Procession and Dancing in Victoria Park


When and where: through Holmfirth starting at 3.30pm from the Memorial Gardens finishing 

at Victoria Park for a dance display between 4.00pm and 5.00pm.  It’s a great celebratory 

event and a lovely end to the day’s events.  The natural amphitheatre makes a fantastic 

stage for the dance and music with fabulous views across Holmfirth.  We’d love you to join 



‘Folk at the Family Fringe’


Methodist church grounds: 11.30am-2.00pm


Ukuleles Unite!  11.30-12pm


A grand gathering of ukuleles!  Holme Valley Music Centre Uke Group and Pop Choir are 

joining forces with Friends of Beaumont Park Ukuleles, Hot Banana Music and pupils from 

Hade Edge, Holme, Holmfirth, Netherthong, Meltham C of E schools for an inter-

generational performance of popular favourites.  Join us outside the Methodist Church for 

FREE sing along family fun.


If you are interested in joining a ukulele group come along to Holme Valley Music Centre on 

Saturday Morning at 11.30am at Holmfirth High. Beginners and all ages welcome.  tel: 01484 426426  Hot Banana Music also run ukulele 

lessons for both children and adults:;  01484 767535 or 

come along to our shop at Norridge Bottom.


Local Schools present…. 12.15-12.45pm and 1.30-2.00pm


‘Pageant Tales 2016’ from Wooldale Junior School.  The culmination of a community and 

oral history project in New Mill developed in association with Holmfirth Film Festival and 

funded by the ‘Heritage Lottery Fund.'  Holme School Mummers keep the local mumming 

tradition alive and invite the Bradshaw Mummers to come along and watch!  Welcome once 

again to our regular Kirkroyds folk dancers, the Meltham Morris Minors border Morris 

dancers from Meltham CofE, and the Spiral Maypole dancers.


Bread and Butter Theatre Company’s ‘Wild West Show’ and circus skills workshop 

12.45-1.30pm   (see above)


By the way, the Methodist Church grounds is a great place to come along for a cuppa and 

homemade cake too, available inside the church.


Sunday 8th May


Family Maypole Dancing Workshop with the Spiral Maypole Dancers


Memorial Gardens Sunday 10th May


An invitation to take part in some rare and traditional folk dancing, to welcome in the 

Spring… If you’ve always fancied having a go at the Spider’s Web, the Gypsy’s Tent or 

enjoyed last year’s maypole dancing at the Holmfirth Festival of Folk, then come and join in 

with Spiral Dancers Maypole Team this year. They’re back at the festival once again to 

delight Holmfirth with their ribbon dancing and toe-tapping music and challenge you to have 

a go! Young and old welcome. They love teaching their dances to the folk of Holmfirth.  A 

quote from Kirsty who teaches the group “spring seems a joy even in the rain when you are 

twirling about with a ribbon!”               (ps promise, it isn’t going to rain this year….)



‘The Hey Diddles go on a Treasure Hunt’


Market Hall (upstairs) 12.15

The Hey Diddles are a popular local children's entertainment group.  A colourful, energetic, 

interactive show aimed at children aged 0-6, but fun for all the family.  Their aim is to 

encourage young children to enjoy the experience of live theatre.  They sing action songs 

and nursery rhymes beloved of children everywhere and encourage the children to be part of 

the story.  On Sunday morning they are inviting you to join them for a ‘Treasure Hunt’.  All 

treasure hunters welcome .   For more information visit or find 

them on Facebook.


Family Ceilidh - The Good Egg Band


Market Hall (upstairs) 2pm 

If you’ve not been along to the family ceilidh before, then it’s about time you did! It’s a laid 

back family affair, from babes in arms to great granny, and a lovely way for the family to 

conclude the festival. If you fancy ‘Stripping the Willow’ or dancing the ‘Swedish 

Masquerade’ come along and join in the fun! All dances are explained by our experienced 

caller, Sue Coe, no experience necessary. The Good Egg Band, local folk themselves claim 

to retire every year, but they can’t resist the lure of this popular little event. It’s a bargain 

at……£0, yes you’ve got it, it’s free (but a donation wouldn’t go amiss!)  Thank you, what 

‘Good Eggs’ you are.


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