Businesses and community groups were urged to make the most of an amazing opportunity as the Tour de Yorkshire roadshow rolled into town.
The event, hosted at Dean Clough, attracted interested parties from across the borough keen to hear about the return of the event to Halifax and how they could benefit from it.
The race takes place from May 2-5, with the final fourth stage starting at the Piece Hall and finish in Leeds, something which organisers intend to become an annual feature of the event.
The town centre will be locked down from 6am to 3pm, and after the pelaton has left the area, mini guided rides around the town centre will take place.
The last stage is expected to begin sometime around midday or early afternoon, with the Piece Hall being opened from 9am, and activities to be hosted there after the riders have moved on.
Their route through Halifax will take them along Horton Street, past Square Chapel, and then along Winding Road and Commercial Street, and past the Victoria Theatre.
They will then travel along Skircoat Road, Savile Park and the A629 before racing on Ovenden Road, Shay Lane and up through Bradshaw.
Cafe and wine bar Pride and Provenance, situated near the Piece Hall, opened two weeks after last year’s Tour de Yorkshire.
James Thompson, who owns the business, said: “I think it’s an absolutely brilliant opportunity and we’re looking forward to it.
“We’re gutted we missed it last year. We were still in the fit-out stage.
“But it’s exciting and it’s great to be so close to the action. The bikes will come out of the south entrance and we are there.
“My mind’s already ticking over. There’s lots we can do. We can put on a good event, I’d like to link up with Help for Heroes.
“I think we can carve our own little event and hopefully make something that people want to come back to and as part of the Tour experience, will go to Pride and Provenance.”
Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Strategy, Coun Barry Collins, said: “It’s now less than 100 days until the start of the Tour de Yorkshire and we’re delighted to be welcoming the race back to Calderdale on Sunday 5 May.
“Last year more than 4,000 spectators saw the race leave the Piece Hall, with crowds arriving from 9am, in order to get a good view of the start of the race just after midday.
“The Tour de Yorkshire always creates a really good atmosphere right across the borough and I’m sure this year will be even better, as people come along and get involved with this increasingly popular event in the sporting calendar.”
Marie Christopher-Davey, director of communications for Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “It’s an amazing opportunity for 190 countries and millions of people to see Halifax and the surrounding areas, how beautiful everything is, and the sunning Piece Hall.
“Also, to see how the communities get together to celebrate where they’re from.
“If there’s anything people are thinking of doing, like land art or decorating their business or getting their local school involved, I encourage them to go for it.
“The riders say to us year-on-year they get the best crowds and the best welcome in Yorkshire, and they’re amazed by how much everyone goes to town.
“I really hope it’s a big party for everybody.”
“Halifax has always been hugely supportive, from the Tour de France to the Tour de Yorkshire.
“The people of Halifax have massively got behind it. They can see the benefits of what it brings to the area, and what better way to promote where yo live?”
Last year there were around 40 tour makers from Halifax, and organisers hope to replicate that figure this year.
Jess Barrans, project manager and volunteer manager at Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “It’s getting up close to the action, you’re there on the day, helping spectators to have a fun time.
“You’re right there where the cyclists go, you get fully trained, you get a uniform, and you’re just part of the family.
“Without volunteers we couldn’t put the event on, so any help we can get, big or small, makes it so much easier.”