Clock's ticking down to biggest Ilkley Carnival ever

Clock's ticking down to biggest Ilkley Carnival ever

Counting down to Ilkley Carnival are (from left) Tariq Mahmood (Kashmiri Aroma), Stacey Hanson (LS29 Support Group) with son Oliver and friend Max, with carnival chairman Andrew Stacey.

Jessica Merrett of Ashlands Primary School whose mum, Claire, has made her a Liquorice Allsorts suit to represent Sheffield in the Yorkshire-themed parade

First published in Local news Wharfedale Observer: Photograph of the Author by

Organisers of Ilkley Carnival are promising this Monday’s Bank Holiday event will be the town’s biggest ever and top last year’s £12,000 raised for local good causes.

On Monday, around 1,200 people will take part in a Yorkshire Tour-themed parade through the streets which will be lined with spectators waving yellow carnival flags sponsored by All Terrain Cycles.

The Ilkley Carnival committee is hoping to attract more than last year’s 10,000 visitors and is urging people to buy tickets early to save money and time getting access into the ground.

The event, which upholds a 100-year tradition of an Ilkley May Day celebration, has paid out more than £90,000 to local good causes in the past 16 years.

Half of the profits raised from the 2014 carnvial will go to LS29 Special Needs Support Group, with the remaining profits shared between charities and community organisations who help on the day.

Ilkley Carnival chairman Andrew Stacey said support for the carnival was at an all-time high with just under 30 groups and schools in this year’s parade, trade and charity stand bookings up by 213 per cent and 20 local shops taking part in the “Yorkshire Tour” window display initiative.

“The carnival has got a really positive feel and it’s this sort of momentum that will help us attract the crowds who can make a real difference to our beneficiaries – particularly LS29 Special Needs Support Group, a group of hard-working parents who help around 100 local families of children with special needs in our area,” he said.

“With our widest mix of activities and entertainment, there are even more reasons to follow the parade into the carnival field and enjoy what our charities, businesses and entertainers have to offer!”

The 2014 Ilkley Carnival line-up includes stunt cyclists Zero Gravity, a birds of prey display, circus school, children’s craft activities and the culmination of the three-day Ilkley Rocks festival featuring ten live bands playing in the music tent. The day begins at 11.30am with the traditional parade along The Grove, Brook Street and into the carnival arena on East Holmes Field at around 12.15pm.

Other highlights of the volunteer-run day include the It’s A Knockout-style Carnival Capers featuring eight local teams including the Riverside Hotel, Ilkley Rugby Club and Ilkley Harriers; Punch and Judy; an Under-11s Football Tournament with teams from across West Yorkshire; the Unrideable Bike and Marshalls fun fair, all hosted by Stray FM with Kashmiri Aroma as the headline sponsors.

Stacey Hanson, parent and organiser from LS29 added: “There is such an incredible buzz for the carnival this year and we hope that the local people get behind the event and help to make it the biggest and most successful ever! Groups of LS29 parents will be volunteering on the day and we’re looking forward to experiencing the real sense of community spirit which the carnival has come to represent.”

Tickets for Ilkley Carnival are now on sale and are 25 per cent cheaper for adults if bought in advance of the day, at just £3. Advanced ticket holders will gain faster access to the ground via a “fast track” lane at the Denton Road entrance.

Tickets are available online at ilkleycarnival.org until noon today, Thursday, or can be bought at the Tourist Information Centre, Costa Coffee, Shoe Bee Doo and the Little Tea House.

Carnival committee members will also be selling tickets on The Grove on Saturday from 9am to 5pm. Tickets bought on the day of the carnival are £4 for adults and £1 for children.

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