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Fit for a King! The Coronation-themed 2023 Ilkley Carnival!

All Saints Primary School pupils Alex Aperghis and Rosalind Brown join Deputy Lieutenant for West Yorkshire Suzanne Watson and Ilkley Carnival's Colin Watson to launch the Carnival’s “The Coronation” theme

You’d be forgiven for thinking the Coronation of King Charles III was happening in Ilkley when around 1,000 local children and organisations take to the streets in royal regalia on the 1st May.

The theme of this year’s May Day Bank Holiday Ilkley Carnival is The Coronation, giving schools, parents and local groups the chance to create a vision of golden carriages, Household Guards, kings and queens for a display of regal pageantry as the cherished annual parade processes through the town, ending with a spectacular celebratory family day out on the East Holmes Field carnival showground.

Marking the launch of The Coronation theme at the King’s Hall in Ilkley this week are pupils Elizabeth and Rosalind Brown and Alex Aperghis from All Saints Primary School who are already looking forward to the springtime event.

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 itself.”

Daughter Rosalind (7) added: “Ilkley Carnival is really exciting and it’ll be fun to dress up and wave to the crowds like the royal family do!”

Ilkley Carnival 2022 was a record breaking event with more than 10,000 people reportedly visiting the carnival showground to enjoy the entertainment, food and drink and shows which were all co-ordinated by a team of local volunteers. The event is supported and sponsored by a number of local organisations including Ilkley BID and primary sponsor for the third year, High Speed Training.

Leading the 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 and the support was just incredible. It was one of the best turnouts we’ve ever had and we raised more money for the local community than we’ve ever done. We’re hoping that with our regal Coronation theme for 2023, we can top even last year’s record breaking success!”

Supporting the launch of The Coronation theme this week 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 is 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 impact and value of community spirit.

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

Ilkley Carnival commences at 11am on 1 May with its spectacular parade which begins on The Grove and ends at East Holmes Field showground which will be home to headline acts, a fun dog show, trade and charity stalls and a host of free children’s activities from the craft tent to Punch and Judy.

For details about becoming a sponsor and available advertising packages, contact carnival committee member Colin Watson on 07885 200640. To join the carnival’s team of volunteers, or for details on becoming a beneficiary contact Andrew Stacey on 07951 890836.

For more information, visit the carnival’s new website on and to keep updated with all the news follow @IlkleyCarnival on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.


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