Stockport records busiest weekend of the year so far as it celebrates a successful year of culture

Stockport recorded its busiest weekend of the year so far with thousands of visitors flocking to the town centre over the weekend to enjoy the Town of Culture Weekender.

Stockport records busiest weekend of the year so far as it celebrates a successful year of culture

The two-day celebration, which marked the end of the town’s Greater Manchester Town of Culture status, saw the town come together to host more than 50 free events and activities at 25 locations across the town. The event programme showcased the incredible variety of culture and creativity in Stockport, as well as the work and projects that have been delivered during the Town of Culture year.

Merseyway, which hosted more than 600 music and dance performers over the weekend, saw footfall rise by a whopping 47% on Sunday and 14% on Saturday*, while record numbers of visitors headed to the town’s museums and art gallery, including the Air Raid Shelters, Stockport Museum and the newly re-opened Hat Works Museum, with more than 5,000 people taking advantage of free entry.

Despite the changeable weather on Saturday, hundreds of visitors headed to the newly opened Viaduct Park – the first green space in the UK to be built on top of a transport interchange – where activities included a Carnival of the Animals parade, curated by carnival arts organisation Global Grooves featuring giant animal puppets, a grandpa comedy duo, live music with Pandemonium Steel Band, Tai Chi and Yoga taster classes and a Stockport Sculpture Trail.

The largest mural made of plastic bottle tops in the UK, created by community benefit society Plastic Shed, was also unveiled as part of the Stockport Town of Culture Weekender with visitors able to take part and add a bottle top to help finish the art piece.

Music and dance was showcased at venues including Merseyway Shopping Centre, Market Hall, AMP, Petersgate Tap, Magnet, Spinning Top and the Market Place, while Stockport Library brought fun to little ones with a Bluey Day, featuring games and crafts based on the popular animation series.

A series of walks, tours and activities also took place across the weekend, including a Hatting Walk and Stockport Music Walk, taking visitors on a fascinating journey through the town’s heritage, while The War Memorial Gallery hosted the Stockport Rising Exhibition, showcasing the works of five local celebrated artists.