ORGANISERS of the Valley of Lights festival have thanked everybody who helped to make it such a success.
Thousands of people lined the streets of Hebden Bridge, Mytholmroyd and Todmorden for the lantern parades and businesses reported an increase in trade during the festival as visitors flocked to the upper Calder Valley.
Chris Sands, from Totally Locally, which organised the event with help from various partners and funding from Calderdale Council, said: “Valley of Lights surpassed all our expectations, particularly in the spirit of the people of the upper Calder Valley.
“The sense of pride and almost relief that communities had got through the floods and businesses had re-opened really manifested itself in what ended up as a huge celebration of three unique towns, all within one small valley.
“Valley of Lights was put together in an extremely short time - eight weeks - and as such had to rely on a group of extremely dedicated and hard working people, including performers, volunteers and organisers.
“The fact that the whole thing went so well is a testament to those people, and also to how much they love and care for the place they live.
“We’ve had tremendous feedback from businesses and the general public alike.
“We’ve had reports of people travelling from Newcastle, Manchester, Leeds and even Surrey especially to join in the celebrations, which can only be good for the future of the area.
“All in all, we were very proud to be part of something that helped to celebrate this wonderful place, and are grateful that Calderdale Council were prepared to take the risk and let us run with a such crazy idea in such a short time.”
The festival proved so popular that there have been calls to make it an annual event.
Organisers are already planning to hold another Night Bike Ride in the summer.