West Yorkshire artists & community groups bring breathtaking dragon flight to Wakefield

West Yorkshire artists and community groups join internationally renowned creatives to bring breathtaking dragon flight to Wakefield.

On August 23rd to 25th, as part of its huge 366-day programme of cultural and creative activity, Our Year – Wakefield District 2024, Wakefield will welcome The Hatchling, an acclaimed and epic-sized flying dragon puppet from award-winning artists and producers Trigger.

Standing taller than a double decker bus, the magnificent creature will undergo a theatrical metamorphosis in Wakefield city-centre in a free event taking place over the August bank holiday weekend. Hatching from an egg located at Wakefield Cathedral, the dragon will encounter locals and visitors around the city on Friday 23rd and Saturday 24th with a series of events prepared especially for her majestic visit. The weekend will culminate with a breathtaking finale, as The Hatchling takes flight over Pugneys Country Park on the evening of Sunday 25th August.

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As part of the project, Wakefield Council and Trigger are engaging hundreds of residents and community groups from across the district to participate in this once in a lifetime city-wide event, welcoming The Hatchling over her three-day journey across the city.

The HatchlingThe Hatchling
The Hatchling

Spanning everything from dance and music to martial arts, these groups will showcase the breadth of culture Wakefield has to offer whilst creating memorable experiences and demonstrating the district’s community spirit. Organisations and groups confirmed so far including sports clubs, choirs, craft groups, dancers, performers, young people and more from across the Wakefield District.

Cllr Michelle Collins, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport at Wakefield Council, says:

“Last seen leading the celebrations at the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Pageant in June 2022, we are excited to be welcoming The Hatchling to join us in celebrating our culture and community as we reach the halfway point of Our Year – Wakefield District 2024.”

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“The Hatchling is a captivating way to showcase the Wakefield district’s creativity, engage and inspire residents across the district and put the Wakefield district firmly on the map as a cultural hotspot. This inclusive performance is entirely free to attend, and we encourage people far and wide to join us for what is sure to be an unforgettable experience.”

For The Hatchling’s Wakefield performance, Designer Carl Robertshaw (Super Bowl Halftime Show, Kylie Minogue) and Director Mervyn Millar (War Horse) will also be joined by artists and puppeteers from across Wakefield and West Yorkshire, showcasing the best of local talent and creativity and supporting artists within the region.

Creative Director of Trigger and The Hatchling, Angie Bual added:

“Community engagement and creating mass participative opportunities for engagement in cultural experiences is at the heart of The Hatchling’s purpose. The Hatchling will celebrate the talent, energy and vibrant cultural landscape of Wakefield District, inspiring not only the people who live here but everyone who comes together to experience her transformation from across the UK.

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Our Year – Wakefield District 2024 will be The Hatchling’s third outing and only her second ever flight. If you missed her World Premiere in Plymouth in 2021, now is your chance to experience The Hatchling and the power of spectacular public art to bring people together.”

Evoking themes of migration and belonging, The Hatchling’s performance will also be accompanied by a dedicated events hub at Coronation Gardens, to host free family friendly activities which celebrate the district’s diverse communities and heritage.

The Hatchling is just one element in a packed programme for 2024 which includes a supercharged series of festivals, exhibitions, talks and activities in the Wakefield district as well as major events from key partner organisations including The Hepworth and Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

The year of celebration will be a catalyst for inward investment and boost the visitor economy. And will offer people across Wakefield district the chance to get involved in culture and creativity, experiencing the positive role it plays in their community.

Find out more at: ouryear2024.co.uk