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2020 - Rochdale's big year of unmissable events

13 February 2020

Another exciting year of events is being supported by Rochdale Borough Council to provide a boost to residents and businesses as well as attracting thousands of visitors from across the region.  With an exciting line-up already confirmed and more announcements to come, 2020 is shaping up to be the best yet.

This weekend sees The Gin Society Festival return to Rochdale Town Hall on Friday, 14 February 2020 - Saturday, 15 February 2020. The event promises pure 'gin delight', 120 listed gins and live entertainment.

Dippy standing in number One Riverside.

Dippy, the world famous diplodocus dinosaur cast from London's Natural History Museum, is at Number One Riverside until Sunday, 28 June 2020 as well as a show-stopping prehistoric interactive exhibition at Touchstones Rochdale.

A performance of Frankenstein.

From Wednesday, 26 - Saturday, 29 February 2020, Middleton Arena hosts the new theatrical adaptation of Mary Shelley's gothic horror 'Frankenstein' – the first play from West End producers ever to be staged at the arena.

Chris Bavin.

Rochdale Food & Drink Festival returns on Saturday, 4 April 2020 with a tasty menu of mouth-watering fare and top local chefs, hosted by cookery author and television presenter Chris Bavin from BBC1s 'Eat Well For Less?' You can also expect lots of family entertainment including Gastronaut Stefan Gates (CBBC) Food and Science Stunt Show, live music, street food and a festival market.

Rochdale Riverside.

That's followed on Good Friday, 10 April 2020, with the official launch of Rochdale Riverside, the major new retail and leisure development in Rochdale town centre.

Racing cyclists.

Greater Manchester cycle sportive Tour de Manc sets off from Bowlee Park in Middleton on Sunday, 3 May 2020, with the choice of a 100 kilometre, 200 kilometre or 110 mile ride.

'Our biggest and best year yet'

After a sold out show in October 2019, Clinton Baptiste, the hapless clairvoyant and psychic from Peter Kay's Phoenix Nights is back on stage at Middleton Arena on Thursday, 28 May 2020, followed by top stand-up Ed Byrne on Wednesday, 17 June 2020 with his 'If I'm Honest' UK tour. 

Ed Byrne.

On Saturday, 20 June 2020 the streets will be taken over for Heywood 1940s Day in the town centre. As always, a superb day for all the family is promised, with military vehicles, music, a parade, children's rides and lots more fun activities.

Throughout July the borough will be bursting with dazzling colour as Rochdale, Heywood, Middleton and the Pennines take part in North West In Bloom. 

On Saturday, 25 July 2020 a big new event will be taking place in the beautiful Broadfield Park. The Feel Good Family Picnic promises an amazing summer day out with a host of exciting activities and shows.

A bartender serves a visitor to the gin festival.

One of the events thousands can't wait to get in their calendar - Rochdale Feel Good Festival is back on Saturday, 22 August 2020 for a day of live music, top class entertainment, food, drink and feel good vibes. There will be live music across indoor venues, a main stage sponsored by The Flying Horse Hotel and much more.

A married couple posing for a photograph.

On Sunday, 20 September 2020 Rochdale Wedding Show moves to a new venue, with hundreds of couples planning to tie the knot heading to the Mercure Norton Grange Hotel and Spa alongside over 35 stylish and inspiring suppliers plus breathtaking catwalk shows. Outside, there'll be a beautiful collection of wedding cars as well as a few surprises.

Runners in the Williams BMW Rochdale Half Marathon.

Williams BMW Rochdale Half Marathon, 10K and Fun Run will be staged on Sunday, 4 October 2020. Since 2015, over 5,800 people have taken part in the event, which takes in town and picturesque countryside scenes like Hollingworth Lake. The courses are relatively flat too, so they're great for personal bests.

Remembrance Sunday Services and parades will be held boroughwide on Sunday, 8 November 2020.

Other major events are due to be added to the calendar in the next couple of months aimed at making the borough a 'must visit' destination in 2020 and keeping residents and businesses happy.

Councillor Janet Emsley, Cabinet Member for neighbourhoods, community and culture said:

"Having Dippy the dinosaur here until the end of June is a massive opportunity to attract even more people and enhances what is looking like our biggest and best year yet. These events will bring significant benefits across the borough, promoting our destinations and increasing footfall. With stand out favourites and emerging new arrivals plus more to be announced soon, this is Rochdale's biggest year in decades.

"Once again the council will also be supporting numerous other events organised by community groups and individuals. Our calendar is always being updated."