Handmade Parade brings artists into communities to create parades, festivals and stunning celebrations. We have a fantastic talented and generous team of professional carnival artists, puppeteers, makers, musicians, stilt walkers and performers based around Todmorden, Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd, West Yorkshire, England.
Our signature event, the Hebden Bridge Handmade Paradewas started in 2008 by Andrew Kim, a puppeteer who specialises in giant puppets and large-scale community performances. After two parades co-produced by HEADS and Thingumajig Theatre, we created a new organisation, Handmade Parade CIC to produce the parade.
In 2013, we introduced the Lamplighter Festival in Todmorden, a nighttime festival featuring a lantern parade and showcasing some of the excellent street and installation artists based in upper Calderdale.
Over the years, we’ve created several bespoke community spectacles in partnership with local organisations and events. In 2011, we created the Pollination Parade with Incredible Edible Todmorden to welcome in their Green Route. We’ve created a pageant and a site-specific performance for the Rochdale Canal Festival and parades for the Skipton International Puppet Festival.
In 2012, as a response to the terrible floods in our valley, to help bring the community together and strengthen local businesses, we teamed up with Totally Locally to create Valley of Lights, a 3-town nighttime extravaganza. In 2014, as part of the Yorkshire Festival, we created the Fantastical Cycle Parade, a cycle-themed parade in Todmorden to welcome the Tour de France to Yorkshire.
Our giant puppets and parade art have also been part of many events such as the Manchester Day Parade, Huddersfield Festival of Lights, Hull Freedom Festival, Eureaka! Museum and the opening of the Hepworth Wakefield Gallery.
Along with our Handmade Samba Band which plays in many regional events, parade art workshops, giant puppet hires and Handmade Flags, our new festival decoration business, we hope to become a sustainable year-round organisation dedicated to producing two excellent events a year–the Hebden Bridge Handmade Parade and the Todmorden Lamplighter Festival–and be available to bring our parade magic to local events whenever possible.