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1:48 PM 12th February 2021
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Moonshine – Slaithwaite Village All Lit Up!

Excitement is building in the West Yorkshire village of Slaithwaite, as 'Moonshine', a Festival of Light is taking place this February half-term (18-19-20 February), which builds on the 30-year-old traditions of 'The Slaithwaite Moonraking Festival'.

The whole village is being transformed into an illuminated al-fresco art gallery, in 'Moonshine' a spectacular community art project as a celebration of the creativity, resilience and uniqueness of the area. This can be enjoyed by people in their own homes, on social media and in short socially distanced walks around the village.

Unfortunately due to the Covid 19 pandemic, there can be no lanterns, music or procession this year, but the village has found a new way to strengthen community spirit in the 'Moonshine' Project. This has been made possible by locals who have fundraised through the 'Lunar Levy' scheme, which has in turn helped to lever in grants from Arts Council England, Kirklees Council and One Community’s Judith and Neil Charlesworth Fund and several generous contributions from local businesses.


Windows throughout the village are being transformed into brightly lit artworks. People of all ages and abilities are being invited to make illuminated pictures to share with their neighbours safe from inside their own homes. Individuals will display their artworks in their windows alongside their neighbours and light them up as it goes dark to bring cheer to their streets, terraces and cul-de-sacs. Businesses and community groups are also taking part, to ensure that the displays have a big impact.

Almost 500 resource packs have been distributed so far, and locals have responded enthusiastically to the creative challenge. A network of 50 'Street Ambassadors' have stepped forward, being the point of contact for their street, delivering resource packs, materials, support and information to their neighbours to make sure that as many households of possible join in, whilst staying safe. They will also help to tell the story of the individuals taking part and what they have enjoyed about being involved.

Those who want to take part who haven’t been contacted can connect here slaithwaitemoonraking.org.uk/contact/.

Festival artists Frances Noon and Rachel Ellis have created a set of prototypes, templates, “how to” guides and videos which are available online at slaithwaitemoonraking.org.uk/moonshine-2021/.

There are three different techniques being suggested for making the illuminated pictures for windows 'Cut It', 'Colour It' and 'Construct It'. Each of these will be demonstrated in free online Facebook Live workshops where you can make alongside Festival artists Frances Noon, Rachel Ellis and Gill Bond at facebook.com/slaithwaitemoonrakingfestival. There is no need to book as you can watch live online. Get your materials and tools ready to get making!

Sunday 14th February 1-2pm Cut It Live
Monday 15th February 1-2pm Colour It Live
Monday 15th February 3-4pm Construct It Live


On the 18th – 19th and 20th February as it goes dark, windows in the village will light up with the creations of locals. Due to COVID restrictions, we are not encouraging people from outside the area to attend, but will share photographs, videos and inspirational videos online so everyone who wants to can still feel involved. Locals will be able to enjoy short socially distanced walks in their family groups to enjoy the window displays and are encouraged to observe the latest government coronavirus protection guidelines.

Festival Director Gill Bond said “We are heartened and delighted by the response from all of the community to taking part in this year’s socially distanced version of the festival. People in every corner of the village are making beautiful displays.

"We have also had contributions from former Moonrakers living in other parts of the country and even one from Japan!"

There is still time if you want to get involved – send an email to mrmoon@slaithwaitemoonraking.org.uk.