It has been revealed that Chesterfield’s Tapton Lock Festival is set for a return this September, with exciting plans in place to mark its 10th anniversary.
Over the weekend on the 10th and 11th September, the banks of the Chesterfield Canal will come alive with outdoor theatre, music and dance, arts and crafts workshops, stalls, a climbing wall, ‘’have a go’ canoes, boat rides and much more.
To mark this special birthday, organisers Junction Arts and Derbyshire County Council’s Countryside Service have invited the Chesterfield BME Forum to showcase a number of special multi-cultural performances.
More information will follow, but the team has already confirmed that on Saturday 10th September a performance of Ukranian music and dance by the Hoverla Dance Ensemble will take place, meanwhile visitors can enjoy a spectacular Chinese Lion Dance on Sunday 11th September.
Jane Wells, Project Coordinator at Junction Arts commented: “We’re absolutely thrilled! This is a huge milestone for us, to have been able to make the festival happen for 10 years is such an achievement and we feel really proud. We have to work very hard all year round to fundraise for the event as it’s our number one priority that the festival is free, so that no one is excluded from attending on financial grounds. We want this to be a festival for everyone to enjoy.”
Speaking on the range of multicultural performances taking place at this year’s event, Jane stressed how important it was for the festival to be inclusive of people from all backgrounds: “The festival is well attended but we noticed that our visitor demographic wasn’t representative of the cultural mix of Chesterfield and surrounding area.
“As a first step, we invited members of the Chesterfield BME Forum to have a stand at last year’s festival and it proved to be really successful. The 10th Anniversary seemed to be the perfect moment to do more so we applied to the National Lottery for funding and were successful. The grant will support four local groups to attend and showcase their cultures, including some incredible music and dance performances, amazing food tasting from around the world plus displays and information. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the National Lottery players for their support.
Jane also commented on why bringing the community together in celebration was of high importance to the charity: “The mainstay of our work is to build stronger communities through the arts and The Tapton Lock Festival does this in bucket loads! We deliver the event in partnership with DCC Countryside Service and the aim of the festival is to raise awareness of the area along the Chesterfield Canal and the network or footpaths and cycleways to encourage people to spend more time in nature with family and friends becoming healthier and happier.
“Another way the festival brings communities together is through the school outreach we do. Each year we work with a local school, this year St Mary’s Catholic Primary School. The year 5 pupils visited the canal last week to learn all about the flora and fauna of the canal with a countryside ranger, they also had a boat ride!
“In September, Junction Arts will go into school and work with the children to create artwork that will be displayed at the festival. So, I hope you can see how the festival brings people of all ages and from all backgrounds together, to celebrate this beautiful part of town in a safe, inspiring and creative environment.”
The event takes place around the Tapton Lock Visitor Centre from 11:00am until 4.00pm on both days and entry to the festival is free. Find out more here.
Junction Arts supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 200 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.