‘All go’ for annual Bilton Gala

kna  Retiring school secretary Pat Outhwaite with pupils at St Mary's Catholic Primary School.  (120427M3)''tis  Pictured from left with Billowby Bear are Gymophobics staff Julie Bowland, Cathy O'Brien and Amanda Holt.  120427M1)

kna Retiring school secretary Pat Outhwaite with pupils at St Mary's Catholic Primary School. (120427M3)''tis Pictured from left with Billowby Bear are Gymophobics staff Julie Bowland, Cathy O'Brien and Amanda Holt. 120427M1)

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THOUSANDS of people are expected to turn out to Bilton Gala this Bank Holiday Monday.

A “fantastic afternoon of entertainment” has been promised by event organisers, come rain or shine.

There will be a parade, dozens of stalls, gift stands and entertainers, all in the grounds of Richard Taylor School and Hall Lane Fields in Bilton.

And despite the wet weather of the past few days, the gala is to go ahead.

“It’s been very, very wet but the forecast for the next few days is clear so hopefully it will dry up a bit,” said gala chairman Stuart Frost.

“We’re going to change the layout a bit to accommodate the wetter ground. Everything’s all go.”

Eight-year-old gala queen Ella Hyde will lead the annual parade from Meadowcroft from noon, accompanied by dancers, community groups and fancy dress displays.

She will be aided by her two attendants, Freya Kesteven, aged seven, and nine-year-old Katie Robinson.

In support of this year’s Olympic theme there will be a Bilton Mileathon from 11.30am, which will see runners taking part in a one-mile race around the parade route to raise money for the Sadie Rose Clifford Appeal.

This year’s main entertainment will see the return of ITV1 stars Carol and Philip Mellin, with their sheepdog and duck display.

The Stannage International Stunt Team will also be appearing, with motorbike and quad stunts including the human torch and the flaming high dive.

Mr Frost said: “There are over 60 stands and attractions to suit all tastes including many new attractions.

“Pony rides will prove popular and a children’s farm featuring lambs, piglets, calves, chicks, ducklings and rabbits adds to the animal theme.”

Other events include the Professor Fiddlestick circus skills show, Harrogate Hornet cheerleaders, and a creative dance display.

Always popular is the fancy dress competition for youngsters, this year with an Olympic theme.

“This year Bilton Gala would like to thank Gymophobics and Roots and Fruits of King Edwards Drive for their kind sponsorship,” said Mr Frost.

“Without the support of local businesses the gala would not take place.”

Times for the main events are as follows;

1.30pm – crowning of the gala queen.

1.40pm – Judging of the fancy dress competition.

1.50pm – Harrogate Hornet Cheerleaders

2pm – Stannage International Stunt Team

2.40pm – Carol and Philip Mellin sheepdog and duck display

3.20pm – creative dance

3.30pm – Stannage International Stunt Team

The gala is open from noon and costs £1.50 for adults and 50p for children. Accompanied under-16s will be admitted free.

Entry is on Bilton Lane, Hall Lane and Hill Top Rise. For more information visit the website www.biltongala.org.uk.