Excitement is mounting in Mytholmroyd as the annual gala event draws closer and for one girl, it will be a day to remember.
Elsa Wilson will be the belle of the ball when she is crowned the village’s Gala Queen for 2014 on Saturday.
The Ryburn Valley High student has Down’s Syndrome and Elsa’s mum Liz hopes that it will show that young people with the condition can be fully involved in their community.
Liz, 52, said: “It’s not very common for a Gala Queen to have Down’s Syndrome, but if you look back, Elsa has always been a part of the local community.
“I think it shows that everyone can be included, but Elsa wasn’t chosen because she has Down’s Syndrome, she was chosen because she’s Elsa.”
In her spare time Elsa volunteers with a group for babies born with Down’s Syndrome, is involved with St Michael’s Amateur Dramatic Society and also volunteers at Frankie’s Cafe in Hebden Bridge.
Elsa was encouraged to apply for the position of Gala Queen by her best friend, who has also represented Mytholmroyd at the gala.
After sending an application in March, it was an agonizing six-week wait before Elsa received the fantastic news that she had been chosen as the Gala Queen.
Elsa, 18, said: “I was shocked, excited when I got the news and I’m really happy and honoured.”
She added that she was looking forward to smiling, waving and dazzling the crowds on the day.
Elsa will make her grand entrance into the gala on a float named ‘The Queen of the Valley’ alongside her all-important retinue, after enjoying a morning of primping and pampering at the hairdressers.
Liz said that Elsa is really looking forward to her year as Mytholmroyd’s Gala Queen.
She said: “Elsa is really happy to go places and meet people, so please invite her to your events throughout the year.”
The Mytholmroyd Gala Event 2014 will start on July 5, with an extra day added to celebrate the Tour De France’s Yorkshire Grand Depart which passes the field on July 6.
l For more on this year’s Mytholmroyd Gala - the procession leaves Orchard Park Industrial Estate at Scout Road, en route for the gala field on Burnley Road, at noon on Saturday, see page 16.