The months of waiting are over - and Todmorden is ready to celebrate the Tour De France when it enters Yorkshire, and the Calder Valley, this weekend.
The town is expected to be buzzing with visitors staying in the area using local amenities and there is lots going on for people to enjoy including a weekend-long special market with pop-up art gallery, free concerts on Saturday late afternoon and evening, and a town centre spectator hub complete with giant 16 metre screen on Sunday.
Cynthia Murray, of the Tour De Tod steering committee, said everything was in place for everyone to have a great weekend, with so many people in the town really getting into the spirit of things.
“This has been a long time in the planning and everyone is excited it’s now here. A lot of hard work has gone into this and it has touched an awful lot of people.
“The town looks great with all the bunting and window displays, and people are excited and looking forward to the weekend.
“We’re all ready - all you need to do is come along and enjoy this once in a lifetime event,” she said.
Todmorden Choral Society’s summer concert at Central Methodist Church, Bramsche Square, on Saturday, July 5 (5pm), is free but you do need to call at Todmorden Information Centre on Burnley Road to get a ticket beforehand.
From 7.30pm that evening, free in Centre Vale Park, Burnley Road, is the Party In The Park, with Todmorden Community Band and Three Valleys Gospel Choir performing before celebratory fireworks around 10pm.
Todmorden Lions are co-organisers of the event and still need two or three more volunteer stewards for the 1pm to 4pm stint at the safety exclusion zone which runs from the tennis courts to the park shelter at the other end of the park. If you can help, call Lion Rod Wainwright on 01706 816802 or 07780 500738.
On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, July 4, 5 and 6, the late night Two Counties Market at Todmorden Market will run until 7pm.
The pop-up Brook Street Art gallery which is open there has been creating a lot of interest and the market’s Tour De Tod t-shirts are selling really well
Raffle tickets are also available for the market’s Tour De France Grand Draw - the epilepsy charity Small Steps, Seize The Day will benefit, and you can get them from the market. It will be drawn late on Sunday afternoon.
From beer and cheesy baguettes at Crumbly Cheese to a range of hot food stalls, Sunday there will see lots going on amid the yellow balloons, bunting and bikes.
There is free entry to Tour De Tod’s big screen at Bramsche Square on Sunday, which will be on from around 9am until 7pm where you can watch Saturday’s race highlights, the race itself - the peloton is expected to come through nearby Hebden Bridge at about 11.45am, with the riders following at about 1.40pm - as it comes through parts of the Calder Valley and out to Sheffield, and, at around 5pm the Disney film Frozen will also be shown. Also, 10am to 3pm, there will be children’s acitivities on in Todmorden Town Hall.
Meanwhile, the decorate-a-window competition for businesses and the children’s Tour treasure hunt - entry forms for this available from Todmorden Information Centre - are still continuing over Tour weekend.
l Road closures, travel restrictions and other Tour information, see page 15, and more Tour stories inside