THOUSANDS of people poured into Skipton on Saturday to what turned out to be one of the most successful annual galas for several years.

A sunny, warm and dry day ensured hundreds of people lined the streets for the entire length of the procession of gaily decorated floats and walking groups, and including Skipton mayor Alan Hickman, from its start at Westmoreland Street, through the town centre and along Water Street, Gargrave Road to the showfield at Aireville Park.

An impromptu performance by the Craven Gym Cub, when the procession drew to a temporary halt outside Ermysted’s Grammar School, drew appreciated applause from the crowds.

North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue were there with two fire engines, which took part in the procession itself and at the field, while Skipton police were there in numbers, with Craven Sergeant, Paul Evans, regularly soaked by children with water pistols.

Gala chairman, Geoff Dunn, chairman for 22 years, said it had been a great day, helped by the weather. The presence of television soap stars, Dolly-Rose Campbell and Sam Aston, who play Gemma Winter and Chesney Brown in ITV’s Coronation Street, had also proved to be a bit hit with the crowds, with people lining up to have their pictures taken with them.

World champion trials bike, rider, Jack Carthy, put on two performances, wowing the crowds with his stunts, and making it all look very easy, while ‘Wild West’ enthusiasts, The Wild Bunch, returned to the event with their entertaining show.

There was also the crowning of this year’s rosebud queen, Hana Mahmood and performances by the Eclipse Jazz band, magicians Beck2beck and Craven Gym Club.

The fairground was also packed, with one of the most popular a high rider, giving the brave a bird’s eye view of the showfield.

“It was an absolutely brilliant day,” said Mr Dunn, who was riding a vintage tractor in the parade. “There were people standing shoulder to shoulder along the whole route from Westmoreland Street, more people than I’ve seen for five or six years, and it took us just over an hour to get through the town,” he said.

Winners: Fancy dress, under 16: 1 Rapunzel; 2 - One Man and His Dog. Fancy dress, over 16: Helen Gatiss, sunflower. Best School float: 1 Embsay and Eastby Pre-school; 2- Cherry Tree Nursery. Gala Queen float: 1- Carleton; 2-Silsden. Organisation decorated float: 1- Select Football; 2- Skipton Young Farmers Club. Musical decorated float: 1 #DoYouKnowHim; 2 Fot Trot Oscar.

Anyone who would like to join the small committee and help in the organisation of next year’s event can contact the committee through the gala’s Facebook page, or on its website.