Major event to return in Wetherby which marks and important and unusual part of its cultural history

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An event which celebrates a crucial part of Wetherby’s cultural heritage is to return next month.

Hailed by one of its driving forces, town councillor Kazia Knight, for attracting new visitors to the town after last year’s successful launch in Wetherby Market square, Drovers Day will take place on Sunday, June 9.

Drovers Day marks the time when for more than 150 years, huge numbers of animals were reared in Scotland and then driven to markets in the South of England.

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Wetherby’s position on the Great North Road, its ford and bridge, made it an important crossing point, market and stopover for Drovers and their animals.

Drovers Day is coming back to Wetherby with music and more - Hebden Bridge Band marching through the town. (Picture contributed)Drovers Day is coming back to Wetherby with music and more - Hebden Bridge Band marching through the town. (Picture contributed)
Drovers Day is coming back to Wetherby with music and more - Hebden Bridge Band marching through the town. (Picture contributed)

The trade resulting from Droving helped build the town and its facilities.

One of the organisers, Kazia Knight said the event was a real team effort and delivered so much benefit to Wetherby.

"Last year's Drovers Day was a wonderful day for people in Wetherby and attracted many to the town to see the bands and the events taking place.

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“The Wetherby Lions and the Wetherby Bandstand organisation see this event going from strength to strength and building on the great event held in 2023.

"We are really looking forward to seeing what we can achieve in 2024."

This year’s Drovers Day will see a Wetherby Cultural Gala and Brass Band Marching Contest.

As well as music, there will be a full range of arts and craft in the market square on the big day from 11am.

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The opening speech by the Mayor Dawn Payne will followed by music by Streetlife, Strolling Bones and Emma.

At noon, another aspect of Wetherby’s and Yorkshire’s culture will be given pride of place – a Brass Band competition starting at the Riverside Bandstand.

A total of 21 bands from across Yorkshire and beyond, including Wetherby’s own Silver Band, will be marching and playing through Wetherby at two stages in town and also by the riverside Bandstand from noon until early evening.

The day also remembers The Drover’s dilemma – which was whether to pay to use the safe crossing on the bridge or risk fording the Wharfe.

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