Thousands lined the streets of Ilkley as this year’s carnival got the town in the mood for the ‘Tour of Yorkshire’.
Ilkley Carnival challengedschools and groups to come up with original costumes and parade entries inspired by Tour de France’s visit to Yorkshire this July.
There was a strong turnout of local children, teachers and parents, plus local air cadets, pipers and a brass band in the parade, which attracted large crowds on to Brook Street and The Grove, making the most of the warm and sunny Bank Holiday Monday weather.
Some opted for a cycling theme and were joined by cyclists from stunt team Zero Gravity, which later performed shows of skill and daring on the carnival field, East Holmes Field.
But many of those taking part in the parade depicted the highlights of the route which the Grand Depart of the Tour de France will follow though the region this summer.
Children dressed as the Bronte sisters – as the Tour will call at Haworth – as Vikings and York Minster choristers, and paid tribute to other pieces of Ilkley and Yorkshire heritage.
Special guests who travelled on an open-topped bus and made presentations to parade winners on the field included the Lord Mayor of Bradford, Councillor Khadim Hussain, Deputy Lord Mayor and Ilkley Parish Council chairman Councillor Mike Gibbons, Keighley MP Kris Hopkins and Tesco’s Mum of the Year, Ilkley grandmother Pam Clarke.
The overall carnival parade winner selected by the judges was All Saints Primary School, based in Leeds Road, Ilkley.
Attractions on the carnival field arena included a falconry display, the exciting finals of an under-11s football tournament and live music from several talented young bands.
Among the sideshows were donkey rides, a show of classic vehicles, a Punch and Judy show, a crafts tent for children, free circus skills training for youngsters, a giant slide and face painting. A funfair was again set up on East Holmes Field.
Many local organisations also set up stalls on the field, promoting their work in the community.
Half of the money raised will go to main beneficiary the LS29 Support Group, which supports local families with children who have special needs.
The remaining money will be split among other local good causes.