COMMUNITY is set to be placed right at the heart of Now Northwich as it returns for a second year.

Drawing in international and nationally-acclaimed talent, the highly-anticipated festival has put Northwich residents at the forefront of the event.

This year's rendition includes a dedicated Family Zone, a designated Youth Zone and a beautifully-crafted community programme curated alongside breathtaking performances.

Northwich Guardian:

Beginning at 1pm and running until late into the evening, Now Northwich 2019 will give residents and visitors a unique experience that caters to every age.

A Family Zone with performances for smaller children, a changing and feeding zone hosted by Mid Cheshire NCT and an outdoor arts and craft zone to complement the Fun Palace staged in Northwich Library will be located in Barons Quay Park.

A Youth Zone with dance performances, DJ, free workshops and dance battles will be staged at Quay River Terrace, and an exciting line up of acts for all ages will run right across the town centre and Barons Quay.

This year, the offering is truly extensive and has been designed to provide 'something for everyone' before culminating in the hugely anticipated Insectes parade by Spanish company, Sarruga.

Northwich Guardian:

In order to ensure the community is fully integrated into the event – and to celebrate the diverse talent that lies within the region – organisers have worked with dance artist Jenny Reeves to unite 12 community groups and schools for a superbly choreographed procession.

Kicking off the festival at 1pm, the parade titled ‘The Weavers Tale’ will delve into the fascinating heritage of Northwich through an exciting promenade performance that will be staged along a walking trail.

Jenny Reeves, director of About Time Dance Co., said: “The River Weaver is likely to take its name from the old English 'Weffer', meaning to meander or weave, so it seemed fitting that the community’s performance would trace the banks of the Weaver whilst taking in both new and old areas of the town.

“Bringing together over 100 local dancers of all ages to bring the heritage and folklore of the town to life, The Weaver’s Tale will unearth Northwich's past and future with compelling choreography to illuminate spaces with colour, dance, music and vibrancy.”

Northwich Guardian:

Groups participating in this inspirational programme include Break it Down from Cheshire Dance, Hartford Church of England High School, Lalita's Namastey India Bollywood Dance, Kinematic Dance Company, MM Dance from Cheshire Dance, DOPE Development (DMPC), Victoria Road Primary School, Whitegate Church of England Primary School, Move to the Left from The County High School Leftwich, DS Dance in conjunction with Cheshire Down’s Syndrome Support Group, Sara Ferguson Dance Academy and Weaverham High School.

Jane McLean, creative director of Cheshire Dance who programmed Now Northwich with artist Anais Biaux, said: “Bringing the community together has been the principle focus of the event as well as making the arts as accessible as possible to everyone.

"Many measures have been put in place in term of accessibility – from ensuring the festival is more Makaton-friendly to providing a quiet space at the Salvation Army, more facilities for families, more stewards to assist the public among others.

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"As a result, we hope that the community as a whole feels considered, integrated and highly valued in our event planning.

"We are a relatively small team at Cheshire Dance but with our dedication to provide a truly unforgettable day coupled with the support of our partners, we are all sure it will be a great success.”

Last years inaugural event drew thousands into the town centre, with the 'Saurus' procession of giant dinosaurs making jaws drop.

Northwich Guardian:

Cllr Louise Gittins, leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council, said: “I thought last year’s event was exciting, spectacular and some performances even challenging.

"Watching the first Now Northwich I can say the bar has been set high. I’m particularly looking forward this year to the various local groups coming together and performing side by side national and international performers.

“Now Northwich is a totally family friendly event and I’m sure this year will thrill all ages set against the backdrop of the town centre and Barons Quay.

"The challenge for Now Northwich is to bring a range of arts under one ‘roof’ and to expect the unexpected.”

Northwich Guardian:

Now Northwich, part of the Without Walls Creative Development Network, is organised by Cheshire Dance in collaboration with CWAC, Northwich Town Council and Barons Quay.

It is supported with funding from Arts Council England, CWAC, Northwich BID, Charcoal Blue, Vale Royal Rotary Club, Encirc and via CWAC members’ budgets.