The eyes of the world will be on Harrogate as the town and wider district hosts the largest cycling event in the calendar – the UCI World Cycling Championships. Think about the hype associated with the World Cup and apply it to bikes!

Now, whilst sport might not be to everyone’s taste, bringing Harrogate to life through events and culture ensures that a wider audience could view Harrogate in a new light – both those that live and work here, but also positioning the reputation of the town in a new way in order to appeal to a wider audience. It’s why in this day and age every modern Olympic bid comes with a parallel cultural proposal.

Harrogate International Festivals has been commissioned to run the Carnival as part of a cultural programme to support the UCI Road World Cycling Championship. The funding to deliver this event is from the Leeds City Region Business Rates Pool and has been allotted specifically to support cultural activities whilst the global spotlight is on the region.

The Carnival is being advertised as a spectacular one-day event but there’s lots more going on.

We want people to know about it all but a flyer, newspaper and social media post doesn’t always tell the whole story, so here’s some facts and figures, because nobody wants Carnival confusion!

The Carnival is made up of lots of elements:

  • Free storytelling workshops in the Valley Gardens and with local groups between the 24-26 July. More info here.
  • Enjoy a taste of the Carnival day as Saurus burst into town. They’ll be in town on the evening of Friday 26th July enjoying a drink in a few of Harrogate’s favourite bars. Get your cameras ready!
  • A Parade through the town centre, road closures are minimal (and very short!) as we take in Oxford Street, Cambridge Street and Montpellier before moving into the Valley Gardens. Expect exciting street theatre, puppets, music and more. You can even take part here!
  • The Valley Gardens will be full of music, food, workshops and more from 11am – 6pm, with over 230 artists, musicians and performers on site. Add in 55 chefs, cocktail makers and bar tenders, and another 80 people employed to support the infrastructure from security to set dressing, first aid to litter picking and bunting to bogs….that’s before we look at all the team and volunteers who have been working for weeks behind the scenes and will help make it all happen on the day.
  • After the event we’ll be running workshops with schools to develop links with the Leeds West Indian Carnival and take Harrogate ‘on tour’ to Leeds to participate in the Carnival for real in Leeds 2020

The event is being hosted in the Valley Gardens rather than the town centre following liaison with several key parties including North Yorkshire Police and Harrogate Borough Council to support a safe event environment and reduce road closures. We are committed to working with the town centre hence launching and opening the event in the town centre and our partnership with Harrogate BID will ensure street theatre activities throughout the afternoon of Saturday 27th July.

If you want to take part or ask any questions just get in touch. Or take a look at our dedicated webpage here.