The 2014 Otley Carnival looks set to feature one of the largest ever parades – and a rescue helicopter.

The number of entries already received for this year’s Tour de France themed event means the organisers are confident of a bumper display come Saturday, June 21.

Yorkshire Air Amublance has given a commitment, barring emergencies, to land one of its helicopters beside the Bridge End show field at 2.30pm on the day.

The procession, as always, will mark the start of the carnival when it sets off from Wharfedale Farmers Auction Mart at 1.15pm, featuring a variety of colourful floats, walking tableaus and bands.

A cavalcade of local cyclists will also take part this year in anticipation of the Tour de France coming to Otley, which is on the Grand Depart route, a fortnight later – on Saturday, July 5.

Carnival committee member Geoff Wright said: “Judging by the number of entries already received the parade is likely to be one of the largest ever.

“Local schools and many other organisations will be providing music via an eclectic mix of bands, including pipe bands. brass and steel bands, drummers and ukulele players.

“As always there will be a street collection to raise funds for the three beneficiaries and volunteer collectors will be passing through the spectators.

“Our beneficiaries this year are the Yorkshire Air Ambulance, Otley Action for Older People and the Otley Children’s Centre.

“The Air Ambulance team has agreed – subject to any demands on their services – to land one of their helicopters in the field next to the carnival, so children will have the opportunity to talk to the pilot and paramedics and take a close look at the helicopter and equipment.”

Many of the town centre shops, as usual, will be getting into the carnival spirit by giving themselves eye-catching makeovers and taking part in the annual window dressing competition.

For more details and to find out how to get involved, contact committee chairman Ann Steval on (01943) 466995 or Geoff Wright on (01943) 465179.