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Carnival to launch two-week Tour de France celebrations
2:14pm Monday 28th October 2013 in News
The 2014 Otley Carnival will mark the start of a two-week build-up to the town welcoming the Tour de France.
And the organisers are expecting more schools, groups and businesses than usual to take part in the parade on Saturday, June 21 – with cycling bound to figure large.
As always the carnival will raise money for several good causes, and next year's beneficiaries have been confirmed as Otley Action for Older People, Otley Children's Centre, and Yorkshire Air Ambulance.
Carnival committee publicity officer Geoff Wright said: "Carnival day next year will be the start of the 14-day run-up to the arrival of the Tour de France on Saturday, July 5.
"We hope our carnival will be a fitting start to a fortnight packed with events leading up to the excitement of the cyclists and their followers passing through the town.
"The parade will follow the usual route but promises to be larger and more colourful than usual as we anticipate that most schools, local organisations and businesses will join in to play their part in kicking off the greatest show the town has ever seen."
The committee will start its fundraising for the 2014 event's beneficiaries at the Victorian Fayre on Sunday, December 8 when members will be holding a children's tombola.
Mr Wright added: "The tombola, coupled with other activities, raised more than £400 last year and also made many children very happy because every child paid 50p and won a prize (all of which had been donated) without exception."
The 2013 Carnival Queen, Katelyn May, meanwhile will continue to attend local functions - including the switching on of Otley's Christmas lights in December - up until the crowning of her successor next year.
She was recently invited to cut the cake at an anniversary celebration for Otley Waitrose's Community Matters scheme, which provides £1,000 of support to local charities and community groups each month.
*Otley Children's Centre, which provides services for families with young children in Otley, Pool-in-Wharfedale and Bramhope, will use funds raised from the carnival to help cover its running costs, including equipment, transport and annual parties.
Otley Action for Older People will use its share of the proceeds to send some housebound residents on a short-break holiday, and to help cover its minibus and volunteer expenses.
The Air Ambulance, meanwhile, will use any funds it gets towards the £9,900 a day it costs to keep operating two emergency service helicopters 365 days a year.
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