Barnsley Big Weekend: 50th Mayor’s Parade goes virtual

BARNSLEY Mayor’s Parade goes for gold this weekend as the town celebrates it’s 50th anniversary – with a virtual event.
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WATCH: The 50th Anniversary Virtual Barnsley Mayor’s Parade, part of Barnsley’s Big Weekend two days of online family fun, will be streamed as a Watch Party on Barnsley Council’s Facebook pages, this Saturday, July 11, at 1pm – CLICK HERE.

The parade, which has entertained families for half a century, usually takes over the streets of the town centre every summer but coronavirus restrictions mean that was not possible this year.

But Barnsley folk refused to let the pandemic rain on their parade

Families, friends, community groups and businesses rose to the challenge set by council organisers and created more than 50 video clips, showing what would have been their floats and entertainment.

The clips have been edited together and will all be streamed as the virtual parade, at the time and date of what would have been the actual parade.

There will also be a special showing of the 1985 Barnsley Mayor's Parade – on Barnsley Council’s Youtube page on Saturday, at 12 noon – CLICK HERE.

Comedy, dance, live music and more also planned online, on the council’s Facebook pages, over Barnsley’s Big Weekend. For more information on social media follow the hashtag #BarnsleysBigWeekendOnline.

Barnsley Mayor Coun Pauline Markham said: “The Mayor’s Parade is always about celebrating the best of Barnsley and this year will be no different as we move online.

“At this unique and challenging time this is a brilliant way for everyone to show their creativity at home and I can’t wait to see this year’s online entries.”

She will judge the virtual entries, with Barnsley Market/Market Kitchen vouchers awarded as prizes for outstanding contribution, most creative and best entries by family/household, charity/school/community and business.

Barnsley’s Big Weekend event attracted thousands of people into the town centre when it was held for the first time last year – but with coronavirus restrictions still in place, this year’s celebration is entirely online.

The event will kick off at on Saturday, July 11, at 10am with family Zumba – part of Dancing Town, which will return next summer.

At 11am, the Mayor will read Luna Loves Library Day, as Barnsley celebrates the first birthday of its new town centre Library @ the Lightbox.

Following the Mayor’s Parade at 1pm, there are more Lightbox birthday celebrations at 2pm and 4pm with street theatre comedy in-between at 3pm, while Barnsley Music Hub will host an online music festival at 5pm.

Saturday’s celebrations will be rounded off with the return of Dancing Town’s Acceptable in the 80s – a live DJ set between 6pm and 8pm.

Barnsley's 50th Mayor's Parade will be held virtually online on Saturday, July 11 at 1pmBarnsley's 50th Mayor's Parade will be held virtually online on Saturday, July 11 at 1pm
Barnsley's 50th Mayor's Parade will be held virtually online on Saturday, July 11 at 1pm

The fun continues into Sunday, with a kids theatre and movement class at 10am, reading challenge from Barnsley Libraries at 11am and the premiere of the Memories of Maurice Dobson, a film from Barnsley Museums, at 12 noon.

At 1pm, Pride Barnsley will kick off its annual celebration on the Pride Barnsley Facebook page, while Barnsley Libraries are back at 2pm with a craft hour.

There will be more street theatre comedy at 3pm, with highlights from the Destination Barnsley festival at 4pm.

The event rounds off with street dance from Scandalous Productions at 5pm, before live music from Barnsley Live between 6pm and 8pm.

Follow #BarnsleysBigWeekendOnline for more info – and don’t forget to tune in to Barnsley Council’s Facebook channels on Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 July.