Expect the unexpected!
The theme for the 2019 festival was The Amazingly Fantastical Darnhill Time Travel Festival and celebrated OVERSPILL, the National Lottery Heritage funded project run by Cartwheel Arts, which explores the history of the Darnhill estate, from farmland to becoming one of Manchester's original overspill estates.
The procession was led by Handmade Samba, once again and we were also joined by Roch Valley Radio at the back. Young people and community groups displayed a fantastic array of carnival art and costumes to show Darnhill through the ages - from wild flowers and trees, to cows roaming the farmland, the dismantaling of the slums and the building of the new Darnhill estate, culminating in a celebration of all things community!
There were spectacles aplenty with Farmer Giles and his gate, and Dizzy O'Dare in their hot air balloons and not forgetting the Professor himself with his new, improved time machine that had been designed by local school children! You could even literally step back in time with Archive +'s green screen!
Skylight Circus Arts brought their trapeze rig, and for those with a head for heights there was a mobile climbing wall. Other physical activities included inflatables, drumming and dance workshops, and multi sport activity sessions on the kickpitch with Cue Ball Crazy running a snooker tournament nearby.
We officially launched the new, accessible Darnhill Community Garden, which was opened by Mayor Sheerin and Liz McInnes MP. We celebrated the Grow Wild wild flower project with an exhibition in the garden marquee and natural crafts including seed bomb making, natural cosmetics, pole lathing, and the Dippy crew from Rochdale also came along to tell us more.
The family arts tent hosted six artists delivering a variety of have-a-go sessions from willow weaving, to felt ice cream making(!), time travel screen prints to sun dials! Wellybobs Mini Farm brought along their animals, including a pony, alpaca, goats and smaller animals too. Chester Zoo even came along to run the animal olympics and asked people to see how far they could jump compared to a kangaroo, or how tall they were compared to a giraffe.
The Aspire marquee in front of the library had a mix of creative and digital media taking place throughout the afternooon.
And further up the parade, taking things at a slightly slower pace was the Art for Wellbeing marquee with a space to create, relax and reset.
Phew! What a festival - now roll on 2020!