One of Huddersfield’s favourite festivals takes place today (Friday April 21) and tomorrow.

Marsden Cuckoo Day Festival starts this evening as a warm up to a fun-filled day of events tomorrow.

The festival heralds spring and, hopefully, sunnier and warmer days and builds on the myth that in the past when Marsden villagers spotted a cuckoo they tried to build a huge wall round its nest to make it stay so good weather would remain forever. Sadly, the wall wasn’t big enough and the bird flew away.

The festival begins today with a cuckoo walk organised by the National Trust which sets off from Marsden Mechanics Hall at 6.15pm.

This is followed by a free Cuckoo Folk Night of music and performance at Katie’s Homemade Kitchen on Market Place from 8pm.

Cuckoo Day tomorrow (Saturday) will feature the main procession through the village with cuckoos people have made. It sets off from Wessen Court at 3pm and will be led by Marsden Silver Prize Band.

At 3.45pm the duck race starts with the ducks tipped into the River Colne at Mellor Bridge with the proceeds supporting fundraising for the Cuckoo Festival. People can buy ducks throughout the day.

Marsden Mechanics Hall will be the main hub filled with stalls and activities such as face-painting. St Bartholomew’s Church hosts the Creative Marsden Exhibition with children’s entertainment at St Bartholomew’s Parochial Hall.

Street performances during the day start at 11am and include brilliant percussionists Banda Na Rua World Street Band, the Ugly Mug Jug Band, a mechanical fair organ, Marsden Belly Dancers, Marsden Infant School Choir, Mucipups ukulele band and maypole dancing.

Live music organised by The Riverhead starts at 5pm.

The music shifts to Marsden Mechanics in the evening from 7.15pm to 9.15pm with the 16-strong Marsden Swing band playing pop, funk, latin and R&B. Entrance is by donation – the suggestion is £5 – with the money going to the Ukrainian Humanitarian Appeal.

  • Written by ANDY HIRST who runs his own Yorkshire freelance journalism agency AH! PR ( specialising in press releases, blogging, website content and copywriting.