26 03 24 | Community

Stockport’s busiest weekend as it celebrates a successful year of Town of Culture

Stockport’s busiest weekend as it celebrates a successful year of Town of Culture

Stockport recorded its busiest weekend of the year so far with thousands of visitors flocking to the town centre over the weekend to enjoy the Town of Culture Weekender.

The two-day celebration, which marked the end of the town’s Greater Manchester Town of Culture status, saw the town come together to host more than 50 free events and activities at 25 locations across the town. The event programme showcased the incredible variety of culture and creativity in Stockport, as well as the work and projects that have been delivered during the Town of Culture year.

Merseyway saw footfall rise by a whopping 47% on Sunday and 14% on Saturday*, who were treated to performances from more than 600 music and dancers over the weekend. Record numbers of visitors headed to the town’s museums and art gallery, including the Air Raid SheltersStockport Museum and the newly re-opened Hat Works Museum, with more than 5,000 people taking advantage of free entry.

Despite the changeable weather on Saturday, hundreds of visitors headed to the newly opened Viaduct Park – the first green space in the UK to be built on top of a transport interchange – where activities included a Carnival of the Animals parade, curated by carnival arts organisation Global Grooves featuring giant animal puppets, a grandpa comedy duo, live music with Pandemonium Steel Band, Tai Chi and Yoga taster classes and a Stockport Sculpture Trail.

The largest mural made of plastic bottle tops in the UK, created by community benefit society Plastic Shed, was also unveiled as part of the Stockport Town of Culture Weekender with visitors able to take part and add a bottle top to help finish the art piece.

Music and dance was showcased at venues including Merseyway Shopping Centre, Market Hall, AMP, Petersgate Tap, Magnet, Spinning Top and the Market Place, while Stockport Library brought fun to little ones with a Bluey Day, featuring games and crafts based on the popular animation series.

A series of walks, tours and activities also took place across the weekend, including a Hatting Walk and Stockport Music Walk, taking visitors on a fascinating journey through the town’s heritage, while The War Memorial Gallery hosted the Stockport Rising Exhibition, showcasing the works of five local celebrated artists.

Cllr Frankie Singleton, Cabinet Member for Culture, Communities and Sport, added:

“The Town of Culture weekender was everything we’d hoped it would be – a fantastic few days for the whole of our borough to enjoy after a landmark week for Stockport with the reopening of the iconic Hat Works, new rooftop Viaduct Park and launch of the Interchange. It was brilliant to see that there was a variety of activities for everyone to enjoy. Community events such as these bring together families, local artists, and small businesses providing wholesome entertainment for people of all ages. The events created a great buzz around the town and people made a lot of memories.”

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