Children and families from LS29 Special Needs Support Group have been given “free time” to enjoy the Ilkley Carnival fun fair a day ahead of the main event.

Marshalls Amusements, a long-term feature of Ilkley Carnival, has donated 100 wrist bands for members of LS29 – the carnival’s 2014 primary beneficiary – to enjoy free rides between 2pm and 4pm on Sunday, May 4.

Owner and manager of Marshalls Amusements Darren Church, said he was delighted to help after being approached by Ilkley Carnival chairman Andrew Stacey.

“We’ve been working with Ilkley Carnival for years and this year when Andrew asked if we could bring some extra magic for the children of LS29, offering free rides seemed just the ticket,” said Darren.

“It’s a great honour for us to have an opportunity to put a smile on people’s faces – that’s what Ilkley Carnival is all about.”

This year’s “Yorkshire Tour” themed Ilkley Carnival kicks off at 11.30am on Monday, May 5 with a 1,200 strong parade along the Grove, down Brook Street and into East Holmes Field where daredevil cycling act Zero Gravity will launch an afternoon of activities including the “Ilkley Rocks” music tent, children’s entertainment, free craft tent, Carnival Capers, Lincoln Circus School and the under 11s football tournament.

Karen Goodman, co-founder of LS29 Special Needs Support Group, said: “We can’t thank Ilkley Carnival enough for this new dimension of support we are experiencing for our group. Offering our children and families free rides at the funfair is a wonderful gesture and hugely appreciated as it’s these experiences that help bring real fun into the lives of the families we support.”

She added: “Tickets are now on sale for Ilkley Carnival and we hope that everyone will come along on the day and help to raise the sort of funds that will make a huge difference, not only to LS29 but to other incredibly worthy local groups.”

Ilkley Carnival is being sponsored by a number of local businesses including headline sponsor Kashmiri Aroma, craft tent sponsor Poppy Red, VIP area sponsor Spooner Industries, parade sponsor All Terrain Cycles and football tournament sponsor Linley & Simpson. The carnival’s Shop Window Competition is now being held as an example to retailers across Yorkshire who are being asked to follow Ilkley’s lead and decorate their shop windows in a Tour de France theme.

Ilkley Carnival and Ilkley Rocks 2014 tickets are on sale at priced £3 for adults and £1 for children. Committee members are also selling carnival tickets on The Grove and on Brook Street on Saturday, April 26 and Saturday, May 3.