Join in the fun of the Handmade Parade at skills workshops

Handmade Parade fans can learn skills like playing samba music in a series of workshops organisers have put on leading up to this year's event
Handmade Parade fans can learn skills like playing samba music in a series of workshops organisers have put on leading up to this year's event

Ever fancied joining a street band, trying your hand at capoeira or learning to stilt walk?

Hebden Bridge’s Handmade Parade organisers are offering a series of skills classes for anybody who wants to take part in this year’s event.

The workshops will be held from June 2 to 21 ahead of the colourful event on June 23.

Parade co-ordinator Rebecca Dearden said: “The parade skills classes are a fantastic way to learn how to do something completely new, and they’re so much fun.

“I never thought I’d dare get up on stilts, but I was even dancing on stilts after just one session. I’ve also helped make a giant head out of willow and, this year, I can’t wait for the capoeira classes.”

The capoeira classes are new this year, and bring the exhilarating Brazilian mix of dance, acrobatics, martial arts and music to Hebden for the first time.

In three sessions with Contra-Mestre Piolho, participants will learn carnival choreography and be able to whirl and spin down the parade to the sounds of the Handmade Samba Band.

Sessions will be held on Tuesday, June 5 and 12 from 6.30pm to 8.30pm and Friday, June 22 from 6pm to 8pm.

Classes are for adults and children aged seven and over and cost £20 for adults and £10 for children. Children under 12 must be accompanied by a participating adult.

Music fans will also have the chance to join a funky street band led by Peadar Long, who co-founded the Peace Artistes.

Brass, sax and percussion players who have their own instruments and can play at a basic level are welcome at the practice sessions on Wednesday, May 30 and June 6, 13 and 20 from 6pm to 8pm.

Sessions are free, but booking is essential.

If samba drumming is more your thing, you can get into the groove with Mitch Oldham.

Sessions for teens and adults are on Saturday, June 9 from 10.30am to 12.30pm, Monday, June 11 from 6pm to 8pm and Thursday, June 14 from 6pm to 8pm. All levels are welcome and it costs £3 a session.

Todmorden artist Lisa Gort will be leading a workshop showing how to create a show-stopping giant inflatable carnival costume.

Workshops for adults and teens are on June 5, 7 and 12 from 6.30pm to 8.30pm.

Andrew Kim and Travis Downs will be training adults and children aged 10 and over to stilt walk and make costumes for the parade and finale.

The sessions are on June 11, 13, 18 and 21 from 4pm to 6pm.

There is also the chance to make a giant sculpture working with Kerith Ogden, the artist who brought the Squid, Giant Snail and Heron to past Handmade Parades.

Workshops will run on June 10, 16 and 17 from 10am to 12pm and are for adults and teens.

Stilts, inflatables and withy sculpture cost £20 for the three sessions.

All the skills classes will meet at the parade workshop in Victoria Road. No previous experience is necessary.

To sign up, email your name and the class you are interested in to, call 07972 167945 or visit for more details.