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You are here: What's On > Saddleworth Rushcart Festival 2020

Saddleworth Rushcart Festival 2020

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Saddleworth Rushcart Festival 2020

Contact Information

Various Villages
Saddleworth, OLDHAM
Lancashire
OL3 6LW

T: 07947334155

Description

Saddleworth Rushcart Festival 2020

Saturday 22nd (10:00am) and Sunday 23rd August 2020 (10am)

The weekend begins with Saddleworth's performance of the Uppermill Rushcart Dance, before the 'cart is taken to Greenfield, and then onto Delph and Dobcross after a short break back in Uppermill. On the Sunday it is taken up Church Road, where dancing, fun and games can be seen outside the Church Inn and the Cross Keys, while the 'cart watches on from its final resting place for the year outside St Chad's Church. At Saddleworth, the local Morris side revived the moribund local tradition of gathering the rushes in a two-wheeled decorated cart and bringing them back to St Chad’s Church at Uppermill ; a single “jockey” sits atop the cart which is about 13 feet tall! On the Saturday the cart tours the local villages and on Sunday goes to the church, accompanied both days by around a hundred morris men from all over the country, and of course a band. Expect also to see gurning, wrestling and singing.

The origins of the Rushcart are similar to the traditions of rushbearing which survives in Cumbia, but which have evolved in a different way. Rushes were gathered for strewing on the church floor and a boundary-walking processional element was common.

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