A popular annual event in Uppermill is Yanks Weekend. Officially known as “Yanks are back in Saddleworth”, the two-day event will be held over the weekend of the 8th and 9th of August in 2020.
Expect incredible costumes, wartime entertainment and music, dancing, military vehicle parade, American classic cars, a funfair, exhibitions and lots of local pub entertainment, if the weather is OK there is even a flyover from a Lancaster Bomber.
This annual festival, first held 18 years ago, celebrates the Hollywood movie “YANKS” starring Richard Gere and Vanessa Redgrave that was filmed in Uppermill and Dobcross in 1979.
For two days the people of Saddleworth, and especially Uppermill transform themselves and their villages into a replica of World War II wartime Britain.
The central point of the Yanks weekend is Saddleworth High school on the edge of Uppermill where there are a number of stalls selling wartime memorabilia and antiques. There is also a food court and a number of displays, attractions and entertainers. On the Saturday a Tea Dance is held at the Saddleworth school canteen between 12pm and 3pm.
On the Saturday evening a ‘Victory Swing-Ball’ is held in the Saddleworth School hall from 7.30pm and many of the pubs, cafe’s and restaurants in the villages have their own Yanks entertainment planned. The Saturday night of Yanks weekend is not a night for a quiet bite to eat or a quick pint in Uppermill village that’s for sure!
On the Sunday the High Street in Uppermill will be closed to traffic to accommodate the parades. These start at 12pm and this year involve Oldham Scottish Pipe band and Northenden pipe band. There will also be, as always, a military and civilian vehicle parade with Winston Churchill leading the way!
If the weather is favourable then a Lancaster Bomber will fly low over the valley on both the Saturday and the Sunday, however as this is Saddleworth, who knows what the weather has in store.
Admission to the event at Saddleworth high school is £5 for adults and £3 for children aged between 5 and 16 years old. A family ticket for 2 adults and 2 children can be bought for £12.00. Veterans and Reenactors can visit the event for free, however, you have to get in touch with organisers to be issued with a pre-booked 1940’s retro ID card.
Admission to the Saturday tea dance is £2.50 and includes tea or coffee and cake.
Tickets for the Victory Swing Ball are £15 and include dance lessons and a hot ‘wartime’ supper.
The parades on the Sunday are free to all, and there will be lots of entertainment inside and outside of many of the pubs in Uppermill.
It’s a really fun weekend, even if you are not interested in dressing up, and its great opportunity to see the whole community of Saddleworth come together to enjoy themselves.
As with all events in Saddleworth, parking is a massive problem. The organisers have arranged a ‘park-and-ride’ system that has worked well in previous years.
See the official “Yanks are back in Saddleworth” page for more details on the weekend’s events or look at their Facebook page which has more up-to-date information. Visit David Schofield Images to see some great pictures from the 2017 event – he’s also got some amazing photographs of Saddleworth on there as well.
Pots & Pans Cottage has already been booked up for the Yanks weekend, however, there are quite a few cottages available to book around Saddleworth on Trip Advisor or Airbnb. There are some splendid log cabins at Dovestone Reservoir and there is an absolutely fantastic campsite called Well-i-hole Farm in a beautiful setting, literally next door to the park-and-ride site. If you are interested in camping then visit their website for more information. The farm can cater for tents, motorhomes, trailer tents and caravans.
If you are interested in staying at Pots & Pans Cottage on another occasion there are plenty more dates available in 2020. Click below to view the prices and availability of Pots & Pans Cottage and make a booking.
Cheers and beers and Yanks!
Click below to see a list of the events and festivals going on in 2020 in Saddleworth and further afield.