Wakefield's Festival of the Moon lifts off with 6,000 visitors with Star Wars screening, astronaut Helen Sharman and Moolit Yoga still to come

The opening weekend saw performances by The Cribs' Ross Jarman alongside Blur drummer Dave Rowntree at the Moon Safari.
The opening weekend saw performances by The Cribs' Ross Jarman alongside Blur drummer Dave Rowntree at the Moon Safari.

Wakefield's Festival of the Moon welcomed around 6,000 visitors on its opening weekend as the former Market Hall was transformed for two-weeks of moon-themed celebrations.

To mark the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing, the Museum of the Moon, a giant, seven metre-wide, illuminated scale replica of the moon has landed in the heart of the city, courtesy of acclaimed artist, Luke Jerram.

The opening weekend saw performances by The Cribs' Ross Jarman alongside Blur drummer Dave Rowntree at the Moon Safari.

​Coun Jacquie Speight, Wakefield Council's Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport, said: "It is fantastic that so many people are embracing this exciting festival.

"The feedback from residents and visitors is extremely positive and there is still so much more to come over the next two weeks. We've created a packed programme that's appealing to all ages and families so I hope people will check out what's on offer and come and enjoy the celebrations."

One of the few humans to have seen Earth from Space, Helen Sharman, will speak about her own journey and how she came to be living and working on the Mir Space Station.

Helen looks forward to landing in Wakefield this Friday, August 30 (evening event for adults) and Saturday, August 31 (daytime event for children).

Both talks are completely sold out, however, those still keen on attending this very special event are encouraged to keep an eye on social media for details of any returned tickets being made available.

Star Wars Sunday will take place on 1 September with the screening of three of George Lucas's epic films. Dancing Stormtroopers and the chance to dress up as favourite characters like Darth Vader and Princess Leia are just two other features of any sci-fi fans dream day out.

Other, packed full-day events include Science Day (Wednesday 28 August), including talks and screenings, and Game Republic (Saturday 7 September), offering an entire day of gaming, not limited to contests and advice sessions for those wanting to break into the industry.

Free, drop-in wellbeing events, including Moonlit Yoga and Sound-Baths - a calming, immersive sound experience - take place on Tuesday 27 August, Tuesday 3 September and Thursday 5 September.

The Festival of the Moon will run until 8 September and there are activities taking place every day. For more information visit www.experiencewakefield.co.uk