Brighouse is set to welcome tens of thousands of visitors as it plays host to the eagerly awaited 1940s Weekend.
Organised by the Brighouse Business Initiative the town centre will be taken over with 40s memorabilia and re-enactments this weekend.
Visitors will be entertained around the streets with singers on four stages, dancing in two areas, an RAF flyover and displays of everything 1940s both military and civilian.
Steven Lord, one of the organisers, said: “It’s very exciting. Knowing what great things we have put in place I can’t wait to see it all happen.
“Brighouse is in for a real treat and the party atmosphere should be wonderful. We’re encouraging people to come in 40s dress if possible to make the 40s atmosphere come alive.”
Mr Lord added that after the last two year’s wonderful successes, this year’s event will be even bigger and better.
There will be an enlarged exhibition of military vehicles and hardware, but it’s not just the military side of the 40s that’s being remembered.
This year’s event commemorates the 70th anniversary of VE Day, the end of the war in Europe, and the organisers have focussed on the music and general euphoria of that year to bring a party atmosphere to the event.
A remembrance service will be held at 10.30am on Saturday and at 1pm on Sunday in Commercial Street.
Another highlight will be vintage buses which will be giving free trips around the town, stopping at Lawson Road, the Railway Station and Armytage Road where the event parking is situated just of the M62.
John Buxton, who is in charge of the event logistics commented: “This has grown into an enormous event, one of the biggest in West Yorkshire, so we have to put in place plans to make it both enjoyable and safe for the visitors.”
Event car parking has increased by 300 per cent and is situated in Armytage Road costing £5 per car to park all day. A free vintage bus ride stops nearby to let visitors arrive into Brighouse in true 40s style.
The fun starts on Friday night with the Civic Hall being turned into a 1940s dance hall featuring Brandyn Shaw and his Rhythm Makers who have come up from London to put on a great night of music and dance, whilst over at the Central Methodist Church there will be a humorous play about D Day veterans, “Le Grand Return” performed by Talking Stock Productions which has just toured the play around the north of England to great critical acclaim.
Saturday sees the return of the hugely popular variety show at the Civic, with a matinee performance as well as an extended evening show, and a dance at the Assembly Rooms featuring the Glenn Miller sound of NyteBeat. On Sunday night an extra dance has been scheduled for the first time as a grand finale, featuring the popular Calderdale Big Band.
Lesley Adams, chair of the Brighouse Business Initiative, who organise the event, said: “We are really proud of what we have achieved with the 1940s Weekend.
“It attracts visitors, not only from all over the country, but from abroad too and brings in over £1 million to the local economy. Not only that, it has created a wonderful community spirit in Brighouse.”