Calderdale in party mood to celebrate Grand Depart

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Grand Depart celebrations will be in full swing this weekend in all corners of Calderdale as the world’s greatest cycle race wheels through our region.

Thousands of visitors will come to Calderdale while millions of viewers around the world will see the borough decorated with bunting and yellow bikes.

Judith Schofield, from the Le Tour Cragg Vale group, said: “Cragg Vale is ready to party!

“Outside bars, all day food, live music in a village festooned with bunting will welcome the Grand Depart on Sunday – and the thousands of spectators expected to line the route.

“The three main venues will be The Robin Hood, which will open from 6am for early breakfasts, Hinchliffe Arms from 10am and Turkey Lodge Tour Festival from 7.30am to 8pm. where parking is available with access from Sowerby Bridge.

“A visit to all venues could be combined with a walk along the valley to admire over 10km of Le Tour bunting made by Cragg Vale residents, groups, friends and local businesses - a unique, magnificent show which is drawing a phenomenal response.

“The Tour has created a very special atmosphere and anticipation has been building up ever since we found out that the Tour was coming up Cragg.

“There has been an amazing effort over the last year in preparation for this Sunday. The bunting and events have brought together the people and businesses and now everything should be ready to give a really great day.”

Helen Edwards, from the Greetland Tour de France group, said: “At Greetland Community Centre we’re really looking forward to enjoying the spectacle of the world’s biggest annual sporting event.

“We are positioned right on the route and so have a fantastic view of the caravan and race.

“We think it’s a great opportunity for the community to get together, welcome visitors and show the rest of the world what a great place Yorkshire is to live.”

The Co-op in Greetland and Hebden Bridge will both be inviting customers to saddle up on a smoothie bike and pedal their way to five-a-day.

The Greetland store will also have a bouncy castle, ice cream van and mini-fair throughout the day.

Corinne Kielty, from Le Tour Ripponden, said: “The people and businesses of Ripponden have really pulled together to make the village festive for the Tour de France. There is bunting and yellow bikes everywhere and a real sense of excitement. Many of us just can’t believe this huge event is landing on our doorstep.

“We’re just praying the weather doesn’t spoil it now.”

Stones Church in Sowerby Bridge will host a street party which looks set to feature hair weaving, face painting, music, a raffle and activities in the car park including splat the rat, loom making, tin can shy, get the ball in the bucket and a treasure hunt.

Ripponden Market, at Ripponden Junior and Infant School, will have stalls and entertainment by Diggle Band at 11.30am and 1pm and Ryburn Longsword at approximately 2pm on Saturday.

St Bartholomew’s Church, Ripponden, will host a concert by Calderdale Big Band tonight (Friday) at 7.30pm, and a garden party and duck race at 2pm on Sunday.

The Milestone pub will have an outside bar and hog roast all day.

Stod Fold brewery will be attempting to fill the world’s biggest pint at the Fleece Inn, while big screens showing the race will be at The Fox Bar and Bistro.

The Silk Mill Pub on Oldham Road will have a barbeque, fresh sandwiches, an outside bar and two bouncy castles.

In Elland, Sunday will see the culmination of the three-day Elland Festival, with parking for the day at £10 per car and camping for part or whole of the weekend at Elland Cricket Club.

There will be live bands and a disco today, tomorrow and Sunday, with entertainment for children on Sunday before and after the race passes.

Two large screens will be showing the race as well as the men’s Wimbledon final.

Beakfast will also be served from 8.30am to 11.30am on Saturday and Sunday and food is available all day.

Hebden Bridge’s spectator hub at Calder Holmes Park, with capacity for 8,000 people, will be the first to witness the riders fly past and will feature a big screen, spectator entertainment and locally produced food.

Mytholmroyd Gala, which runs all weekend, will feature a giant screen to watch the race on, as well as stalls, live entertainment and fairground rides at the Burnley Road Academy playing field.