ORGANISERS of the Hebden Bridge Handmade Parade have pledged to take to the streets in style on Saturday to lift the spirits and bring thousands of visitors into the Calder Valley.
And with the annual Arts Festival kicking off on the same day, plus Mytholmroyd Gala, it will be a chance to show how the area has risen from the flood waters in style.
Handmade Parade artists were putting the finishing touches to their giant creations on Friday but with large parts of the town centre under several feet of water, organisers had no choice but to postpone the parade.
Many of the artists spent the night in the parade workshops in Victoria Road as they were unable to return home. But all the artwork, costumes and giant puppets remained safe and dry and are now ready to take to the streets in the rearranged parade at 11am on Saturday.
Parade organiser Rebecca Dearden said: “Everyone worked so hard to get ready for the parade and it’s been a year in the making, so we wanted to ensure it went ahead again as soon as possible. Our thoughts are with everyone who was affected by the flood.
“Now we have the chance to give the people of Hebden Bridge, who have demonstrated such a fantastic community spirit, a spectacular parade to lift everyone’s spirits and demonstrate the pride we have in our town.”
Organisers have thanked Hebden Bridge Arts Festival and the Mytholmroyd Gala for rescheduling events to allow the Handmade Parade to take place on the same day. Andrew Kim, artistic director of the Handmade Parade, said: “We all need to work together at a time like this and I think in the end, everyone will appreciate how our events helped each other.
“It’s going to be a massive celebration in our valley showing the world that rain and mud won’t crush our spirits.
“We’ll also be bringing the parade spirit to Market Street with a special visit from one of our giant puppets and parade musicians on Saturday. And we’ll be donating a percentage of the money we collect on the day to Calderdale Community Foundation’s flood appeal.”
Participants are asked to gather at the Victoria Road workshops for the line up at 10am. More than 700 people will be taking part in the parade, now in its fifth year, which will end its journey at Calder Holmes Park. The theme this year is The Enchanted Wood.