Should Bilton's Gala parade continue? Organisers debate future of popular tradition

Last year's Bilton Gala: Gala Queen Lottie Hullah, her attendants Bessie Bandeira and Ruby Cryer, the former Mayor of Harrogate, Coun. Nick Brown, Andrew Jones MP and Billowby the Bear. (1705012AM21).
Last year's Bilton Gala: Gala Queen Lottie Hullah, her attendants Bessie Bandeira and Ruby Cryer, the former Mayor of Harrogate, Coun. Nick Brown, Andrew Jones MP and Billowby the Bear. (1705012AM21).

Every year thousands of residents turn out to support Bilton Gala, and with its huge array of attractions and age-old roots in the community, you can see why that loyalty is there.

Last year this treasured community tradition celebrated its 40th year, and it's known for its fancy dress competitions, Gala Queens, and the entertaining acts and stalls that are provided year on year.

But another big part of Bilton Gala over the years has been its parade, and over the last week the organising committee has been thinking about breaking with tradition and donating the money that would have been used to fund a parade, to Bilton charities instead.

A tweet by Bilton Gala said: "Staging the Gala Parade now costs around £1,000. The Gala Committee are considering donating this to charities in Bilton and not having a parade - what are your views?"

The committee opened a poll for residents to have their say, and the results are in - 68 per cent said the money should be donated to Bilton charities, and 32 per cent said the parade should be continued.

Another tweet said: "It’s reached the stage where the five organisers on the committee simply can’t spread themselves thinly enough to run the parade and the events on the field. Despite pleas for volunteers to help we remain a very small team."

One reply read: "For me the parade is a key distinctive of the Gala."

But what do you think? Get in touch: Email news@harrogateadvertiser.co.uk