Popular canal festival ready to set sail into Burnley

Children and families having fun at last year's Burnley Canal Festival.
Children and families having fun at last year's Burnley Canal Festival.
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The hugely popular Burnley Canal Festival is ready to draw the crowds again this August.

A free family event that takes place over the Bank Holiday weekend Saturday and Sunday, August 25th and 26th, the event includes a host of diverse attractions, from folk and hip hop dancing, free runners, giant papier mache birds and a heritage brass band from Rajasthan.

The Festival is a dynamic celebration of Burnley’s peerless canal heritage.

Launched in 2012, the Canal Festival has grown each year, steered by volunteers and supported by partners including Burnley Council and Canal and River Trust.

The Festival is now a part of the Super Slow Way arts programme and is managed by Mid Pennine Arts, the charity based in Burnley and events company Deco Publique, creators of brilliant events like Blackburn’s National Festival of Making.

More than by 12,000 people thronged the canal towpath for the 2017 event, held over three sites linked by narrowboat rides and an Explorers’ Trail for all the family.

2018 will be a bit different, as MPA Creative Director Nick Hunt, said: “This year we will focus on Sandygate Square as the heart of the Festival.

"Two other sites are not available to us in 2018, but Sandygate was designed as a public event space and we want to realise its full potential. It is ringed with wonderful heritage buildings, and we want to showcase some more of that to festival goers.”

All the festival ingredients return, with lots of opportunities to have a go at arts and crafts workshops, plus music, performances, street food, stalls, canoe taster sessions, narrowboats and more.

Once again, the Towpath Explorers will devise a mystery quest, to encourage all the family to explore some of Burnley’s brilliant canalside. Festival entry will be free and most activities will also be free.