KEIGHLEY Gala and Riddlesden Gala have been scrapped for this summer due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Riddlesden Gala Committee this week said it had taken the “difficult” decision to postpone the planned event on June 13.

And a volunteer committee formed months ago to revive Keighley Gala said it had decided “with great regret” to cancel rather than postpone its event, to protect the public.

Riddlesden Gala secretary Gill Bennison said the gala committee’s priority had to be the safety of the local community.

“Whilst we hope this unprecedented situation we all find ourselves will be over before the planned date in June, we just felt we could not continue to book and make plans with the uncertainty.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their support and all the hard work will not go to waste.  

“The gala will be back bigger and stronger next year on Saturday June 19, 2021 and we will welcome everyone to come along and have a wonderful family fun day.”

Further information on Riddlesden Gala is available by emailing, on Facebook at The 2020 Riddlesden Gala, or on Instagram at riddlesdengala2020.

Keighley Gala chairman Patrick McDonnell said: “We have had such an amazing response from businesses, groups and residents and we were really looking forward to putting on a great show. But public health and safety comes first.”

Gala secretary Cath Bacon said the committee had worked hard, and it was disappointing to make the decision.

She added: “Depending on how the situation develops and once the global outbreak is over, we may look at reforming a committee and starting afresh.

“The committee would like to thank all who came together. We want to echo the current health advice from the government: stay home, stay safe, stay well.”

Keighley Gala was last held in 2016 when the annual event, the 140th in the town, was a sun-soaked extravaganza organised by a team of volunteers and local groups.

The event, as in previous years, raised thousands of pounds for local charities.

Immediately after the gala, chairman Shona Brunskill issued a plea for more people to come forward to help with the organisation of the event the following year.

At the time she said: “There are only a very few of us involved in the organising and we really need more people to help, both before the event and on the day itself.

“We were blessed with the weather and got a good turn out – it’s for the people of the town so the hard work is worthwhile when people come along on the day.”

But the following year, the committee were forced to admit the gala would not be going ahead, and would “take a break” with the hope of resurrecting the event in 2018 with more volunteers.

A gala spokesman said the decision to cancel was due to “unavoidable and unfortunate circumstances” beyond the committee’s control.

Instead of the 2017 event, W Marshall’s Amusements – a long-time supporter of the summer gala – it’s funfair to Victoria Park for the Big Weekend in September with attractions including TV star Titan the Robot, popular children’s characters, the 33-metre-high Vertigo, the Sky Flyer, and a fireworks display.

In November last year, a new committee came together to bring back Keighley Gala in 2020, with the promise of a procession through the town centre to Victoria Park, where there would be a funfair and a stage for performers.

A Keighley Town Council pledged up to £5,000 to match-fund any money that could be found from other sources, and the organisers chose a gala theme of The Greatest Show.