This month, the sleepy village of Slaithwaite in West Yorkshire will be celebrating a local legend with a festival of storytelling, music, and arts and crafts.
The Slaithwaite Moonraking Festival is a biennial community festival based around the quirky story of smugglers on the local canal.
The story goes that in the 19th Century there was a profitable smuggling trade, using the canal that runs through Slaithwaite. At the risk of getting caught, the smugglers dumped their barrels of booze in nearby reeds and waited for nightfall to retrieve their booty. One day, whilst raking the barrels out of the reeds, the men were approached by two excise officers and had to quickly make their excuses. Seeing the reflection of the moon in the canal the smugglers claimed to be trying to rescue the moon from the canal with their rakes. The officers took them for fools and left them to their task.
This quirky history is celebrated in Slaithwaite with a series of community events. This year’s events will include family friendly storytelling with puppets, music and magic, a Memory Cafe with crafts, and a fundraising family ceilidh with dancing, cabaret and a bar.
When: 22nd – 23rd February 2019
Where: Slaithwaite, near Huddersfield, West Yorkshire
£: Tickets for events cost from £3 – £6