YOU’D be forgiven for thinking the Coronation of King Charles III was taking place in Ilkley, when around 1,000 local children and organisations take to the streets in royal regalia on May 1.

The theme of this year’s May Day Bank Holiday Ilkley Carnival is The Coronation - giving schools, parents and local groups chance to create a vision of golden carriages, Household Guards, kings and queens for a parade of regal pageantry ending with a family day.

Marking the launch of the Coronation theme at King’s Hall in Ilkley were Elizabeth and Rosalind Brown and Alex Aperghis from All Saints Primary School. Parent Kate Brown said: “The crowning of King Charles will be such a historic occasion for our country and it’s fantastic that Ilkley will be capturing the celebratory spirit of the nation by theming the Carnival with the Coronation.”

Daughter Rosalind (seven) added: “It’ll be fun to dress up and wave to the crowds like the royal family do!”

Last year’s carnival drew more than 10,000 people to the showground for entertainment and shows co-ordinated by a team of local volunteers. The event is supported and sponsored by local organisations including Ilkley BID and primary sponsor for the third year, High Speed Training.

Committee chairman Andrew Stacey said: “As with so many local events, we had to cancel two years of Ilkley Carnival - but last year’s crowds showed that everyone had really missed the event. The support was incredible. It was one of the best turnouts we’ve ever had and we raised more money for the local community than ever. We’re hoping that with our regal theme for 2023, we can top last year.”

Supporting the launch of the Coronation theme was Suzanne Watson, a Deputy Lieutenant of West Yorkshire, who supports the Lord-Lieutenant in carrying out his role as The King’s representative across the area. She said: “Ilkley Carnival is a historic event in its own right and a fantastic boost, not only for local people and businesses but also for the town’s younger generation who are growing up involved in, enjoying and seeing the value of community spirit.

“To choose The Coronation as this year’s theme is a wonderful way to start the celebrations and help everyone get into the spirit for King Charles’s Coronation, just five days later, on May 6.

* Ilkley Carnival starts at 11am on May 1 with the parade beginning on The Grove and ending at East Holmes Field showground, where acts will include a fun dog show, trade and charity stalls and free children’s activities from the craft tent to Punch and Judy.

For details about becoming a sponsor and available advertising packages, call carnival Colin Watson on 07885 200640. To be a carnival volunteer call Andrew Stacey on 07951 890836.