Stokesley Parish Council has announced a host of activities as part of ‘Stokesley TourFest’ when the market town welcomes the Tour de Yorkshire in May.
The final day of this year’s Tour, Sunday May 1, will see the route pass through Stokesley High Street after setting off from Middlesbrough.
And the parish council, community and various businesses are now well underway with preparations for Stokesley TourFest, a celebratory festival-style day which will see a programme of events to celebrate the race which is expected to pass through the town at around 1pm.
The High Street will be closed to traffic for the whole day with extensive car parking available on the Showfield. A number of family focussed activities are being organised as well as live music, rides, street entertainers, food stalls, a mobile bar, marquees on The Green, official merchandise stalls, a children’s treasure trail and parades along the High Street.
The whole race will be shown live on a large, outdoor TV screen and a stage will have a programme of music performances as well.
The final day of the Tour de Yorkshire will see cyclists take a gruelling 123 mile route starting in Middlesbrough and passing through North Yorkshire, before finishing in Scarborough.
Local businessman Stewart Brennan, a parish councillor and one of the organisers of TourFest, said: “This will be special day with a whole range of events and activities in town aimed to entertain and interest the crowds who want to see the race come through Stokesley.
“Our local shops, pubs, restaurants and businesses have been very keen to take part and many of them will be open and running their own TourFest activities to celebrate the Tour de Yorkshire. There will be something for everyone and we aim to make it a really great day for residents and visitors.”
Steven Bell, owner of Chapters Hotel, is a keen racing cyclist and runs local cycling team Fietsen Tempo.
He said: “We have over 40 riders, many over 50 who just enjoy riding a bike and keeping fit. It’s great that the Tour de Yorkshire is coming through Stokesley.
“The team at the Parish Council has been passionate about putting Stokesley on the map and this is an opportunity for people to see the carnival caravan of a major cycling tour pass through.”
Rachel Brown, owner of award-winning Browns’ newsagents, added: “Having the Tour visit our lovely market town is fantastic.
“It’s a great way for us to showcase our great range of shops, restaurants and cafes to more people.
“Many different organisations within the town are collaborating to ensure a memorable event. We will all be getting into the spirit of what will be a great day, not just for the businesses and residents, but visitors too.”