Superb Harrogate Carnival 'no washout' in Valley Gardens

Performers in the Harrogate Carnival walk through Valley Gardens, in the pouring rain, on their way to the start of the carnival parade through Harrogate town centre. (Photo by Simon I Hill)
Performers in the Harrogate Carnival walk through Valley Gardens, in the pouring rain, on their way to the start of the carnival parade through Harrogate town centre. (Photo by Simon I Hill)

Organisers of Harrogate's first-ever Carnival in the town centre have hailed it as a success - despite the worst weather of the summer hitting attendance.

Harrogate Borough Councill estimates that more than 22,000 people visited Valley Gardens in Harrogate on Saturday, a day of almost non-stop heavy rain.

Sharon Canavar, chief executive of organisers Harrogate International Festivals’, hailed the whole weekend a big success.

She said: “Carnival lived up to everything that it was billed to be - and more.


"Launching with Friday night’s incredible giant Saurus dinosaur walkabout, it brought people out of the bars and restaurants and the traffic to a standstill.
“Saturday’s opening parade through the town centre was a fantastic collection of different cultures, sounds and sights, and certainly got everyone dancing in the streets.
"The party continued in the park where fun and festivities continued through the afternoon in the Valley Gardens."

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The event was brought into life through a commission from Harrogate Borough Council as part of a cultural programme to herald the arrival of September’s UCI Road World Cycling Championships.


As regards the weather, Sharon Canavar said: “In return for ‘welcoming the world’ at the weekend, we introduced it to the unpredictability of the British summer
"But nothing was going to rain on our parade – not even the weather - and it didn’t."


Confidence is high that the weekend's events in Harrogate town centre augur well for the UCI cycling championships in September.


Sharon Canavar said: “I would like to say a huge thank you to Harrogate Borough Council who commissioned Carnival and to all the performers, artists, chefs and members of the public who made it a day to remember despite a month’s rainfall falling throughout the day!
“Carnival has kicked off the countdown to September’s UCI Road World Championships in style.
"In less than two months Harrogate will ‘Welcome The World’ with the arrival of tens-of-thousands of competitors and spectators, to what is the cycling equivalent of football’s World Cup."

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