Sowerby Bridge Rushbearing Festival WILL take place this year

Sowerby Bridge Rushbearing is returning for 2021, organisers have announced.

Sunday, 22nd August 2021, 5:44 pm
Updated Sunday, 22nd August 2021, 5:46 pm
Rushbearing will take place next month.

Following extensive discussions with Calderdale Council, the festival will take place next month, although on a smaller scale.

The 45th festival will see dancers take to the streets in and around Sowerby Bridge across two days - Saturday, September 4 and Sunday, September 5.

"Following our discussions, I am very pleased to announce that we have had our event management plan licence approved by Calderdale Council and, like a number of local events held recently, we will be able to host a smaller, simpler event and introduce a number of measures in line with our risk assessment to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of the general public, our members and our dance teams," said Chairman of Sowerby Bridge Rushbearing Association Gareth Baigent.

"Clearly our event is held outside in the open air and where the procession stops at venues, we have worked closely with each venue to understand the measures they have in place and how these will interact with the procession and ensure the safety of all attendees.

"All venues have been appropriately open and trading to the general public for a number of weeks. Where venues were not comfortable, we have agreed to not attend such

locations and we hope to visit next year instead.

"If members of the general public are not comfortable then we completely understand that they will not be at the 2021 event (like some of our members) and hope to see everyone in 2022.

"We have taken the decision to simplify our event by minimising and reducing the number of venues each day, ensuring the chosen locations have significant outdoor space for safe distancing, minimising the size of the procession by reducing the number of bands and dance teams involved, ensuring appropriate risk management procedures are in place such as encouraging lateral flow tests before the event, appropriate hand sanitiser facilities for our members and appropriate traffc management procedures on the route for the procession and

the general public.

"We have simplified the event itself by not hosting a market event or ale trail, we will not be having a bucket collection for loose change and we will not be providing a printed publicity programme. We also hope to provide a contactless payment solution for badge sales.

"We will be continuing to support local churches, public houses, cricket clubs and charities, across the weekend and help bring the community back together (safely and outside) and hope to provide a much needed boost to the local economy and local businesses.

"This year’s badge is a tribute to Christ Church’ 200th anniversary and to help support their bicentennial celebrations. We will also have supplies of our 2020 badge celebrating Rodney Oldfield’s life and other badges from previous years.

"All badge sales help fund our charitable donations, last year despite not holding an event we made donations to local charities totalling £2,500 but we really would appreciate your support through buying a badge to help us to continue to make donations."

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