Incredible 120,000 turn out for Harrogate's Jubilee celebrations at iconic locations

Harrogate is basking in the success of its plans to celebate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee which saw an estimated  120,000 visitors attend key festivities at the iconic Stray and much-loved Valley Gardens.

By Graham Chalmers
Tuesday, 7th June 2022, 5:33 pm
The Queen's Platinum Jubilee Celebrations at Jubilee Square in Harrogate attracted large crowds.
The Queen's Platinum Jubilee Celebrations at Jubilee Square in Harrogate attracted large crowds.

Gemma Rio, head of Destination Harrogate, said the turnout for the series of organised events over the extended four-day weekend showed that when the town worked together the benefits were substantial.

“The Jubilee proved that with great collaboration comes great success,” she said.

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“Together with our partners we were able to host fantastic events that were fitting for the occasion, which our residents and visitors to our wonderful destination will remember for a lifetime.”

Not every street held a party, neither were bunting or Union Jacks completely ubiquitous but, all in all, the buzz was palpable as people across the district marked the Queen’s historic milestone of 70 years on the throne.

Destination Harrogate, the district’s destination management body dedicated to growing the visitor economy, helped turn part of the Stray on West Park into Jubilee Square for the celebrations.

Supported by Harrogate Business Improvement District (BID), who brought street entertainers to the town and dressed the streets in miles of bunting, Jubilee Square was alive with music, quizzes and a dog show, as well as streaming the royal events in London on large screens.

The celebrations at Jubilee Square were MC-ed with crowd-pleasing pizzazz and professionalism by Your Harrogate radio station’s Nick Hancock.

In Valley Gardens, Harrogate Borough Council’s parks and environmental services team put on a spectacular outdoor event called Jubilee in the Gardens which provided a perfect picnic spot to gather with friends and family.

Among the entertainment provided for free was magicians, juggling shows, fairground rides, face painting, a climbing wall and live music performances and mini discos.

Also making an impression at the Valley Gardens over the Jubilee weekend was local artisan market maker Little Bird Made which showcased a wide range of local produce for three days in the gardens’ recently Grade II listed Colonnade.

Harrogate BID’s m anager Matthew Chapman said: “We were really pleased with the numbers coming into Jubilee Square each day, be it to watch the big screen, listen to the live music, take part in the activities or just to meet up with friends and relax with a picnic.

“Together with our partners, Destination Harrogate and Your Harrogate, we gave residents and visitors enjoying the long, celebratory bank holiday, a reason to come into town which looked absolutely magnificent with all the bunting and flags.”

Harrogate Borough Council’s commitment to encouraging fooftall and visitors by supporting events in the town was shown once again by the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

Across the district, the council issued 46 grants amounting to £37,000 to help fund events to commemorate the Jubilee.

Coun Richard Cooper, leader of Harrogate Borough Council, said the four days of festivities had been “awash in people.”

“As a destination for visitors both locally and far and wide, we are always keen to help bring different events to the Harrogate district,” said Coun Cooper.

“With The Queen being the first British monarch to celebrate a platinum jubilee, it was only right that we recognise this momentous event in such a way. And what a way it was.

“Harrogate was awash with people and the four-day event in the Stray, Valley Gardens and elsewhere was a big success.

“People young and old were clearly enjoying the free festivities.Sadly, the weather was a little mixed, but it didn’t put a dampener on people enjoying themselves.”