Organisers of a popular street festival are calling on businesses and residents to help secure the event’s long-term future.
Although funding has been secured from the Arts Council for England and Hebden Royd Town Council for the 2014 Hebden Bridge Handmade Parade, the budget is currently only two thirds that of previous years
Therefore event organisers have launched a ‘Feel the Love, Share the Love’ crowd funding campaign for Valentine’s Day and are asking supporters not to be shy.
By pledging £5 a month to the parade, supporters will be providing the long-term funding it needs and will receive a window sticker, a special mention on the Handmade Parade website and a free pass to the open workshops.
Businesses are also being encouraged to give something back to the parade, which brings tens of thousands of pounds of extra revenue to the town on parade day, by donating £15 a month, if a small business, or £25 a month if a large business.
Organisers hope the window stickers for businesses will in turn encourage parade supporters into their shops.
Handmade Parade co-ordinator Hannah Merriman said: “The purpose of this campaign is to invite our community to play a much more important part in helping us create the event.
“People tell us they can’t imagine a Hebden summer without a parade, however the reality is that each and every year it’s touch and go if it will happen.
“This is a wonderful way for people, whether they love to come along and dress up, love to watch it go by or own a business that benefits from it, to say ‘I love it and I support it’.
“Let’s be honest, we all know that free community arts events stand on very wobbly ground at the moment, so why not seek a community-generated solution?
“ If we can’t make it work in this most historically radical and can-do valley then I don’t know where can.”
As part of the campaign, there’s also the chance to send a love letter to the parade in the form of your theme ideas for this year’s event. Suggestion boxes will be available in the Co-op and Hebden Bridge Library from tomorrow, St Valentine’s Day, Friday, February 14. This will be followed with a Spark Day being held on Saturday, March 1, for those who would like to contribute ideas in person.
This year’s Hebden Bridge Handmade Parade will take place on June 8 with organisers hoping to build on the success of last year’s record-breaking event.