Rochdale fired up for exciting new festival
Date published: 18 November 2023
Ignite will feature incredible flame arches and this elegant ‘Eyeful Tower’ of fire and flame throwing
The hot news around Rochdale this week is about a spectacular new two-day fire festival about to be staged leading up to the Christmas lights switch-on at the town hall.
‘Ignite’ Fire Festival will transform the gardens opposite Rochdale Town Hall from Saturday 25 to Sunday 26 November with two free night-time spectaculars delivering a magical trail of blazing fire and lights. Over 25 fiery displays, blazing sculptures and illuminated installations created by artists from the UK and abroad will be open to walk through from 4pm to 8pm each evening, with the Christmas lights switch-on taking place on the Sunday.
A free immersive experience for all ages, Ignite will feature incredible flame arches, an elegant ‘Eyeful Tower’ of fire and flame throwing, a musical fire tree along with a varied assortment of other big and bright fire based attractions.
Visitors will be able to follow the trail of flaming chimneys, fire shells, fire pits, festoon lighting, magical lights and jaw dropping special effects.
Street theatre and interactive arts group Travelling Light Circus will host fire shows featuring jugglers, torch spinning and dance for a multi-sensory mesmerising experience along with over 70 local residents that they will have trained especially for the event.
The festival will also feature a techno infused performance by festival favourites ‘Drum Machine’ - a 20 strong drumming collective. To coincide with the Rochdale weekend, Culture Co-op is offering free drumming workshops with Drum Machine – so you can learn first-hand from the professionals. Before their appearances at Ignite Fire Festival they will be showing you how it’s done and letting you have a go at Deeplish Community Centre in Rochdale from 12pm – 2pm. The workshops are suitable for first timers or experienced drummers and recommended for ages 14+.
There will also be hot festive food, mulled wine and other seasonal drinks.
Father Christmas and his special guests, including Mayor of Rochdale Councillor Mike Holly and Middleton Arena pantomime stars Princess Jill and Dame Trott, will switch-on the lights at 5.30pm on Sunday 26 November in front of the town hall after the traditional countdown, whilst the ‘Ignite’ Fire Festival continues until 8pm.
Councillor Janet Emsley, the council’s cabinet member for equity, safety and reform said: “I’m looking forward to seeing visitors and residents enjoy this fantastic event. There will be something for all the family and I am really looking forward to getting this year’s Christmas festivities under way. This new Ignite Fire Festival is such an exciting and unique addition to our switch-on, something we’ve never seen before in Rochdale, providing amazing family entertainment across the weekend and helping to attract visitors from across the region.”
To coincide with Ignite Fire Festival, Rochdale Pioneers Museum is hosting a Christmas cooking and lunch event on Saturday 25 November from 11am where you can make Christmas cakes from scratch and mince pies which can be frozen ready for the festive season. It’s £20 per person and advanced booking is essential.
Ignite is organised by Rochdale Borough Council in partnership with Out There Arts – the National Centre for Outdoor Arts & Circus and Culture Co-op, a ‘Creative People and Places’ programme, funded by Arts Council England.
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