Orbit Developments are one of the main sponsors for Barnaby 2012 and thousands turned outin sunshine and showers last weekend to enjoy it.
Crowds lined the streets of Macclesfield forthe Carnival Parade and cheered on hundreds of midsummermerry-makers including donkeys, dragons and devils (in cages andplaying guitars!), sea gods and goddesses, a school of jellyfish,mermaids, birds, badgers, scouts, schoolchildren, a unicorn and anoctopus (amongst others!).
Many events sold out, including John Hegley and Friends at thenewly refurbished Town Hall and ‘The Macclesfield Pedestrian’ walks(an early sell-out for the second year running).
Other well-attended events included Cheshire Goes Gospel at St.Michael’s (standing room only with over 400 packing the Church);Around 150 heard Jeff Forshaw at Macc’s new SciBar held at the ParkTavern; Harp 2 Harp was hugely appreciated and the musicians havealready been invited back; The Carnival of the Animals was crammedwith children’s artwork and packed with families on Sundayafternoon.
Workshops proved popular again this year: Cheshire Archives’Write like a Tudor, Inking and Thinking at the Silk Museum andMatmi’s Character Design Workshops were all full to capacity.
The town centre was peppered with performances and happenings tostumble across, including Boogie Woogie players at the People’sPianos in the Grosvenor Shopping Centre, and an estimated 700people in Market Place to attend the Open-Air Church Service.
Thousands took in over 40 exhibitions which made up the BarnabyArt Trail. Word of mouth ensured 750 people visited Lyn Bannister’sinstallation Other People’s Treasure in the medieval Savage Towerat St Michael’s Church. Almost as many saw Theresa Wilson’shaunting and evocative The Ecchoeing Green at King Edward StreetChapel. Both are funded by the Arts Council and are open againweekend of 30 June & 1 July, as is And Let the Walls Loose inthe atmospheric surroundings of the disused Paradise Mill.
Numbers swelled further on Sunday, the fourth and final day ofthe festival, with Treacle Market, Street Fest and Outdoor Laughterworkshops all going down a storm.
All volunteers worked enthusiastically and tirelessly over theweekend, taking tickets, erecting gazebos, shifting tables, makingcups of tea, giving directions and generally turning their hands toanything and everything that needed doing.