A free festival to celebrate the arrival of the Tour de Yorkshire in Stokesley will take place this Sunday May 1st and it has been confirmed that the market town has been selected as one of the few places on the route that will host the publicity entourage before the cyclists arrive.
Stokesley Tourfest will feature live music, rides, street entertainers, food stalls, a mobile bar, marquees on The Green, official merchandise stalls, a children’s treasure trail and parades along the High Street, as well as a large, outdoor screen showing the Tour de Yorkshire.
Stokesley has also been confirmed as one of the locations to host the publicity entourage featuring around 10 vehicles giving out goodie bags to spectators. It’s also hoped a number of well-known faces from the cycling world will pass through with the entourage which will be in Stokesley from around 0945.
Stokesley Parish Council, volunteers and local businesses have spent many months organising the market town’s free Tourfest festival which is being headlined by world-renowned saxophonist Snake Davis, who has played all over the world with the likes of Sir Paul McCartney, M People, James Brown and Ray Charles. Other artists confirmed include the Colin Holt Band, singer and guitarist Val Boyers, rising local star Amelia Coburn, Beautiful South and Housemartins tribute ‘Old Red Eyes’ Andy Johnson, Elaine Palmer, Doctor Brown and the BBC Young Musician of the Year Alexander Bone and his band. *
The Tour de Yorkshire is expected to pass through Stokesley around 1150 on the final day, Sunday May 1st, after setting off from Middlesbrough. The cyclists will take a gruelling 123-mile route before finishing in Scarborough.
The Tour de Yorkshire has quickly become the second most popular bike race, behind the Tour de France, and Bradley Wiggins has confirmed he is racing this year along with last year’s winner, Team Sky’s Lars Petter Nordhaug, and Pete Kennaugh, current British road champion Pete Kennaugh and Stokesley’s own Frazer Clacherty, a former pupil at Stokesley School. This year there are 18 teams of 8 riders with 144 cyclists in total.
Stokesley High Street will be closed to traffic for the whole day on Sunday with extensive car parking available on Stokesley Showfield, next to the Co-op.
Local businessman Stewart Brennan, a parish councillor and one of the organisers of Tourfest, said: “We’ve been working on this event since the announcement about the Tour de Yorkshire back in December so many months’ work has gone into Tourfest. We’re all so excited for the big day and can’t wait to welcome lots of people to Stokesley who can enjoy lots of great activities all for free throughout the whole day.”
Parish Councillor, Malcolm Smallwood, is also helping to organise Tourfest. He said: “We’ve had tremendous support from our local business community and a host of volunteers who want to put Stokesley on the map. Tourfest has something for everyone and it’s all free. We also hope that visitors will see what a thriving, vibrant market town Stokesley is and come back again and again to enjoy what’s on offer.”