Floods won’t break our festive spirit

We'll wait until June - but we will have our Christmas
We'll wait until June - but we will have our Christmas

While last Christmas may have been one to remember for all the wrong reasons, it’s hoped that an ‘alternative’ Christmas day will bring some cheer to the Valley.

The idea behind the ‘Hebden Royd Alternative Christmas Day’ is to show Hebden Bridge, Mytholmroyd and Cragg Vale are back open for business exactly six months on from Christmas.

It’s hoped that all of the damaged shops will have reopened by then, offering the whole community the opportunity for a proper party.

There are stacks of events and attractions planned for the day across the parish, from a Christmas lunch for the volunteers who helped in the immediate aftermath and brass bands playing to the return of the Festive Fandango and Christmas street theatre.

And at the Mytholmroyd Gala, there will be a Christmas theme throughout the day.

Organisers are hoping that that it will be a grassroots driven event, with individual businesses, schools and community groups doing what they can.

Organiser Jason Elliott said: “It’s amazing how quickly this has taken off.

“Although, considering the speed with which everyone pitched in to help with the aftermath of the flooding, perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised.”

Helen Meller, of the Hebden Bridge Arts Festival, said: “It’s shaping up to be a bumper summer in Hebden Bridge, including Christmas in the sun.

“The festival will be doing its bit to serve up some cracking Christmas capers all over town. We’re really looking forward to being part of such a unique community celebration.”

The annual Fair for Youth has moved to June 25 - held in Calder Holmes Park there will be stacks of activities and live music.

There will also be a free showing of the classic Christmas film ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ on June 24, either at the Waterfront Hall at Hebden Bridge Town Hall or the Trades Club.

It promises to be an uplifting day to give residents and businesses a boost.

Councillor David Young (Lab, Calder) said: “No matter what gets thrown at us, this proves that the strength of this community can never be broken.”

If you would like to get involved, event organisers can be contacted on their Facebook group ‘Hebden Royd Alternative Christmas on June 25’, on Twitter and on Instagram @hbxmas25june.

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