The Calder Valley is gearing up for another spectacular day of world-class cycling when the Tour de Yorkshire rolls into the region on Sunday.
A procession of big-name riders including Sir Bradley Wiggins and Marcel Kittel will take to Calderdale’s roads on May 3, going from Ripponden through Cragg Vale and on to Hebden Bridge.
A number of public events are taking place hoping to attract the expected influx of visitors to the area, with one million people forecast to line the route in Yorkshire over the full three days, with the race beginning on Friday.
On Sunday, the third and final day of the race, stage three is expected to bring riders through Cragg Vale at about 2.3opm, heading down the hill towards Mutholmroyd and on to Hebden Bridge by about 2.40pm.
A whole weekend of events is in store to tie in with the occasion.
The Robin Hood pub in Cragg Vale will host Cragg Fest on Saturday with live bands, food and drink from 1pm to 11pm.
A children’s art exhibition is running from today until Monday in the community room and coffee lounge at the Robin Hood pub, showcasing pictures chosen for the Cragg Vale Heritage Train story boards by pupils from Cragg Vale Junior and Infant School and the Calder Valley Steiner School.
The Spaw Sunday well-blessing ceremony will see morris dancers and a picnic in the park, with all the fun getting underway at 3pm after the Tour de Yorkshire has gone past.
Meanwhile in Hebden Bridge, the second day of the Hebden Bridge Beer and Cider Festival will enable visitors to wet their whistle from noon.
An Artisan Market and a Spring fete will be held outside The Hinchliffe Arms and St John’s Church, Cragg Vale, on Bank Holiday Monday, May 4, from 11am to 4pm.
The market opens for trading from 11am and the fet will soon be in full swing with traditional games and treats for all to enjoy, including shove halfpenny, skittles, a tin can alley, a bouncy castle, face painting and more.
From 11am to 11.30am Flute and Fiddle, a lively violing and flute duo, will entertain, followed from 11.30am to 12.15pm by local accordian player Marc Everington wandering through the crowds to bring some more sounds. From 12.15pm to 1pm, quirky sax and ukelele duet The Tin Bath Tea Party will keep toes tapping.
At 1pm, maypole dancing featuring children from Cragg Vale School will take place directly in front of the Hinchliffe Arms, while at 1.30pm Kim Metcalfe will play a rare hand-percussion instrument, the hang-handpan, and will be around until 2.15pm.
Then come three of the biggest events of the afternoon, beginning with judging for the Best Dressed French Market Artisan competition at 2pm, then Cragg Vale School’s annual Duck race at 2.30pm and judging for the Marvellous May Hat competition - Chrissie King from Hat Therapy in Hebden Bridge will be making the decision.
The afternoon will close with wandering musician Mark Everington returning to round things off from 3.15pm to 4pm.
Joanne Hull, from the Robin Hood pub in Cragg Vale, said: “There have been a lot of different people involved in organising everything, including the Cragg Vale Community Association and the Cragg Vale 15 group. There were about 1,000 people at last year’s Cragg Fest and about 500 to 600 people at Spaw Sunday.
“We raised around £600 for the Calder Valley Search and Rescue and we’ll be fundraising again for them this year.
“We just want people to come along and enjoy themselves.
“All the entertainment is free so hopefully lots of people turn up and enjoy what Cragg Vale has to offer.
“I’d like to thank all the local people who have been involved in organising and creating all these events and it’d be great if people came out to support us.”
Joan Hobday, of the Cragg15 group, said about Monday’s events: “Co-located with the Cragg Vale School May Fete, we have have a wide variety of local artisan producers of quality products pitching a stall to make the day a glorious event. We are also hoping for sunshine!
“There are competitions for adults and children, games to entertain the kids, face painting and a whole host of activities going on at the same time.
“Why not come along? Bring the family, bring your friends and wet your whistle at ‘The Hinch’ whilst you’re there!”