ILKLEY Carnival organisers are hoping the excitement of the Tour de Yorkshire cyclists sprinting through the town will boost numbers and takings at the town’s biggest single fundraising event on Bank Holiday Monday.

Carnival chairman Andrew Stacey said if bumper crowds expected for the Stage 3 Tour de Yorkshire support the carnival on the following day, profits could easily exceed the £15,000 raised in 2014.

Cycling fever gripped last year’s Ilkley Carnival with the “Yorkshire Tour” themed event attracting over 10,000 visitors. This year, with more than 1,200 people expected in the parade and a new line up of showground entertainment on the East Holmes Field, it’s hoped the Tour de Yorkshire on Sunday will kick start festivities for the Fantasy and Fiction-themed Ilkley Carnival on Monday.

“Ilkley is riding the wave of excitement from the Tour de France last year and we are absolutely delighted that the Tour de Yorkshire is coming through on carnival weekend,” said Andrew.

“There’s talk about the legacy of the Tour de France and we’d love to be living proof that cycling fever has a direct impact on our local community with Tour de Yorkshire crowds becoming Ilkley Carnival visitors the very next day. Ilkley will be buzzing this weekend and although 144 cyclists sprinting along The Grove on Sunday will be exhilarating, it won’t come close to the spectacle of 1,200 children, adults and groups dressed in spectacular ‘Fantasy and Fiction’ costumes!”

Ilkley Carnival begins with the parade at 11.30am along The Grove, Brook Street and onto the carnival showground where stuntman Mark Stannage will headline entertainment alongside the carnival’s first Fun Dog Show, the under-12s football tournament welcomes teams from across West Yorkshire, a falconry display, mystical jungle tent and a host of free entertainment including the children’s craft tent and circus skills workshops.

The Ilkley Rocks festival will feature for the second time at the carnival with local bands playing. Other highlights include trade and charity stalls, Punch and Judy, the Unrideable Bike and Marshalls fun fair, all hosted by Stray FM with Kashmiri Aroma as headline sponsors.

Sue Williamson, preschool manager from Ilkley Pre-School Playgroup, one of the four school beneficiaries of the day, said: “We are all so excited about the carnival and really hope the community comes out in force to support everyone who has put so much effort in. Groups of our parents are volunteering and, as with all schools, we’ve put an enormous amount of time into our showstopping parade entry. With the Tour de Yorkshire on the day before, it’s going to be a memorable weekend!”

Other schools set to benefit from profits raised at Ilkley Carnival are Ben Rhydding Pre-School Playgroup, All Saints Primary School and Ben Rhydding Primary School. The remaining profits will be split between charities and the community organisations that help on the day and to the Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

Tickets for Ilkley Carnival are now on sale and are 25 per cent cheaper for adults if bought in advance of the day, at £3. Advanced ticket holders will gain faster access to the ground via a “fast track” lane at the Denton Road entrance. Tickets are available at until noon today or can be bought at the Tourist Information Centre, Nora’s Interiors and Gifts, Shoe Bee Doo, the Little Tea House and will be sold by Ilkley Carnival committee members on The Grove and in Booths on Saturday.