A SERIES of free events is coming to Bradford city centre this spring, including parades, talent shows and live entertainment.

Creative Streets will see the city centre come alive with performers from Bradford’s communities coming together.

Attractions will include Bhangra, Bollywood and African drumming dance acts, cycling activities and colourful costumed parades.

A number of city-based creative groups will be collaborating on the programme.

The Brick Box, which ran the Wild Woods indoor woodland programme in the former Marks & Spencer store in Darley Street, will be following that up with Wild Woods in Bloom on Saturday, March 18, April 1 and April 15, in Darley Street.

The installation will feature colourful and interactive art pieces, live performances from local talent, workshops, fun and games for all the family and food stalls.

On Saturday, April 15, Cecil Green Arts, whose workshop was destroyed in last year’s Drummond Mill fire, will be holding a puppet parade in the city, featuring huge, colourful puppets celebrating Bradford, handmade by local people at special workshops from Thursday, March 2, to Thursday, April 13. They will be joined on the parade, which will begin in Darley Street, by the Punjabi Roots Academy and Moseke Music.

A number of cycling events will also be taking place during the programme.

Bradford Capital of Cycling will be running a number of events, starting with a collaboration with Shipley arts company Q20 on Saturday, March 11, for a Pirate Parade, starting in Rawson Quarter. Q20 will be teaching schoolchildren costume design and construction, and street theatre skills for the parade, featuring local artists.

Following that, Capital of Cycling is running Spring Flower and Shamrock Cycle Parades on Saturdays, March 18 (St Patrick’s Day), and April 1, starting at the bottom of Ivegate.

On April 1 there will also be a Wacky Cycle challenge in Oastler Square, and on Sunday, April 30, more cycling events around the top of town.

Also on April 1, Q20 will be staging Top of Town’s Got Talent, with local people being encouraged to show off their special talents, from acrobatics and plate spinning to poetry and singing, in Oastler Square.

On Saturday, March 18, Punjabi Roots Academy will be holding a Dhol drumming workshop in Wild Woods in Darley Street, where people can have a go at playing the traditional musical instrument.

The Academy will also be staging a performance entitled Balle! Balle! on Saturday, April 1, which will feature Bhangra and Bollywood dance, in partnership with The Brick Box.

On Saturday, April 15, the Academy will also be holding The B3ats, a music event featuring eastern and western instruments and a professional DJ, at Wild Woods.

There will be more drumming workshops held on Thursdays, March 23, March 30, April 6 and April 13, led by African drumming expert Moses Ekebuisi at Cecil Green Arts in Darley Street.

A fun family treasure hunt is also being organised from Friday, April 7, to Saturday, April 15, starting at the Yorkshire Penny Bank in North Parade.

Bradford artists Shanaz Gulzar and Steve Manthorp will play larger-than-life characters on the hunt, as participants solve a series of clues to win a specially minted Yorkshire Penny, which can either be kept or exchanged for discounts in selected Bradford stores.

Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, Bradford Council’s portfolio holder for regeneration, planning and transport, said: “Creative Streets will be lots of fun and we’re inviting everyone to come into Bradford to enjoy the free workshops and entertainment.

“This project is part of our on-going support designed to attract more people into the ‘top of town’ area of Bradford city centre and support the businesses in that area.”

The whole programme is running from Saturday, March 11, to Sunday, April 30, around Darley Street, North Parade, Kirkgate Market and the Oastler Centre, and all events and workshops are free. For further details, see facebook.com/CreativeStreetsBd.