Summer sun hopes for Bilton Gala day

NADV 1205063 Bilton Gala. The Sea Cadet band leads the parade through Bilton. (1205063AM6)

NADV 1205063 Bilton Gala. The Sea Cadet band leads the parade through Bilton. (1205063AM6)

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There are high hopes for some summer sunshine to accompany this year’s Bilton Gala - with temperatures of up to 18c forecast for Monday.

Crowds of up to 8,000 are expected to descend on the playing fields at Richard Taylor School for the annual May Day gala, Bilton’s biggest event, to be held on Monday, May 6.

And this year, with early forecasts predicting some warmer weather over the Bank Holiday Weekend, organisers are hoping to make it bigger than ever.

“We are hoping for a big turnout,” said committee member Jo Huddart.

“It’s always well supported. It’s a great family day out, there’s all sorts of attractions.”

Highlights at Monday’s event, with a history theme this year, will include dancing llamas and a live re-enactment of a Viking battle.

There will be a crockery smash, stalls, bouncy castles, food, singing, dancing and more.

The annual gala day helps to raise money for a community funding chest, as well as local charities and groups hosting stalls.

The day’s festivities will begin shortly after noon, with crowds of thousands expected to line the streets around Meadowcroft for the start of the annual parade.

The Sea Scout band will lead the parade through the streets of Bilton from 12.30pm, followed by dancing groups, cheerleaders, vintage and armoured cars.

Gala queen Lily Robbins, eight from St Joseph’s School, will be accompanied in the parade by attendants Laura Marshall, 11, from Bilton Grange and Freya Kesteven, eight, from Richard Taylor.

And dozens more community groups will join in, from the Spa Town Roller Girls to the Creative Dance Group, bands, Brownies, Scouts and the Killinghall Nomads.

After the parade, crowds will make their way to the fields at Richard Taylor Primary School, with live acts billed as this year’s highlight including the Black Rock Llama racing and display team and the Volsung Vikings’ battle re-enactment.

The gala is a registered charity and money raised on the day goes back to local groups or individuals such as the Bilton Library.

The Bilton gala, sponsored by Roots and Fruits of King Edward’s Drive will be held from midday on Monday May 6 in the playing fields at Richard Taylor School.

Tickets are £1.50 for adults, or 50p for under 16s.

To find out more about highlights at this year’s event, visit www.biltongala.org.uk.