Spring festival with a carnival feel comes to town

The giant hen harrier that will lead the lantern parade.
The giant hen harrier that will lead the lantern parade.
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The Snow Moon Festival, a celebration of light and the coming days of spring, will dazzle Clitheroe on Saturday, February 3rd.

And a spectacular lantern parade, led by a giant hen harrier with a three metre wing span, will take the carnival to The Grand for a free concert by Lancashire folksters Drop The Floor.

The driving force behind the award winning Cloudspotting Music and Arts Festival, Ribble Valley based Matthew Evans and Helen Ficorilli, have teamed up again to stage the first ever winter festival in the town and it promises to be one of the highlights of the year.

“Clitheroe had a great tradition of their own lantern festival in the past, so we are hoping that the first ever Snow Moon Festival can be a big success and it will become an annual event,” said Helen.

“We start thinking about the spring months in February, towards the end of winter and the warmer days, and Snow Moon is about bringing the community together for a day at a quiet time of the year.

“In folklore, each month has its own moon, and February is the snow moon, so that’s how we came up with the name.

“The bird is called Bo because she comes from the Forest of Bowland, and she certainly proved a huge attraction at Cloudspotting. Bo will certainly look spectacular coming down from Clitheroe Castle with hundreds of lanterns shining behind her.”

The Snow Moon Festival begins at 11am with storytelling for children at Clitheroe Library and other highlights include arts, crafts and drumming workshops, costume making, storytellers and a poetry brew with local poet Michael Neary.

“Everybody is welcome to join the Snow Moon parade, and we are encouraging people to wear something with lights on to make it as bright as we can,” said Helen. “Snow Moon certainly seems to have caught people’s imagination, with fantastic support from The Grand, Ribble Valley Borough Council, Johnson Matthey, Taylor Wimpey, Clitheroe Chamber of Trade and the Scouts and Brownies who are making a lot of the lanterns.”

The Snow Moon Parade Party starts from Clitheroe Castle at 4-45pm with the route to The Grand snaking through the castle fields and the market bull ring to arrive at The Grand approximately an hour later. The Drop The Floor concert begins at 6pm.

Tickets are free for the procession and concert but please apply for tickets in advance from The Grand Box Office to avoid disappointment as demand is expected to be high. Call The Grand on 01200 421599 or visit: www.thegrandvenue.co.uk