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Roaring success as Keighley Gala makes a grand return
Keighley Gala organisers say the event has “turned the corner” following a successful procession.
Hundreds of people lined the streets of the town centre to enjoy the welcome return of the gala procession, which wasn’t held last year. A new route was set and the event held on a Sunday for the first time.
More than 20 vehicles, accompanied by two bands, set off from Spring Gardens Lane at 1.30pm, following a route that finished at Victoria Park for an afternoon of Marshalls Funfair attractions.
The cavalcade included buses, vintage cars, motorbikes, a fire engine, a horse-drawn black maria and vehicles representing local businesses.
The lively procession was led by Eclipse, a New Orleans-style jazz band, backed by drummers from the Jamba Samba group.
The parade also featured a marching contingent from the Territorial Army and youngsters displaying artwork.
Earlier, a small crowd gathered in Town Hall Square for the crowning of 2013 Keighley gala queen, Samantha Hudson.
She was attended by princess Gemma Marshall, junior queen Kira-Alliece Southgate Enright, pageboy Simon Hudson and rosebud Lara Southgate Enright.
Also present was gala chairman, Andrew Jackson; Keighley mayor, Councillor Sally Walker, and Bradford Lord Mayor, Councillor Khadim Hussain.
Mr Jackson said: “I’m pleased overall.
“The weather has been 100 per cent better than last year, and most importantly the people have actually showed up. I don’t think any of them will say they’ve had a bad day.
“In terms of the planning, the hardest thing was getting people interested in the gala again.”
Vice-chairman, Shona Brunskill, said: “The procession was a roaring success given we didn’t have one last year. I almost cried when I saw so many people lining the streets.
“I think we’ve turned the corner. We have something to build on, and it’s onwards and upwards. Next year will be even better, with an improved layout in the park to amalgamate the gala and funfair.”
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