Masham is “all systems go” to celebrate the Tour de France by throwing its own three-day “Grand Party”.
The historic occasion will see the town play host to more than 20,000 residents and visitors who are expected to line the route and, for the duration of the weekend, T&R Theakston Ltd and Black Sheep Brewery working together.
The fun, which kicks off today at 4pm, will be centred in four zones in and around Masham – Low Burton Field, On the Avenue, Screen on the Green (Masham Cricket Green) and The Market Square – and will feature food and drink stalls, children’s entertainment, live music, children’s movies, children’s play park and a grand firework finale.
T&R Theakston Ltd Executive Director Simon Theakston said: “The Tour de France is by far the most significant event ever to come to Masham, and in order for the town to make the most of this fantastic occasion, we’re pulling out all the stops.
Le Grand Party is just a few hours away and our preparations are all but complete. The wide range of activities and entertainment means the weekend will appeal to attendees of all ages – locals and visitors alike.
Le Grand Bar “Une”, situated on The Avenue, also opens at 4pm today serving Theakston Best Bitter and Black Sheep Best Bitter. These are in addition to two commemorative ales brewed especially to mark the occasion – Black Sheep Velo and Theakston ‘Tour de Wot?’
The live music begins tonight at 7.30pm when Jump the Q take to the stage.
Throughout the weekend both brewery visitor centres will also be open, and all other bars open tomorrow at 10am, going through to 11.30pm.
Mr Theakston said: Because the roads are shut from very early on Saturday morning until well into the evening, The Grand Party organisers have ensured everyone attending will be well looked after in terms of food, refreshment, entertainment and facilities.
On race day Saturday car parks open at 5am, with bacon butties and breakfast baps being served from 7am. A children’s movie is being screened from 8.30am and the beer bars and Pimms Bar open at 10am.
Food is being provided by Truly Scrumptious Ice Cream, Tasty Birds and Cockburn’s of Bedale, and children’s entertainment by Scooby Doo Magical Mystery Machine.
Live music from the South West band is scheduled to begin at 8.30pm.
On Sunday, the screens will be showing the second stage of the race which starts in York, comes through Knaresborough and Harrogate, and concludes in Sheffield.
Mr Theakston added: Everyone in Masham has worked very hard to put on this fantastic event and we’re very much looking forward to being part of it.
We have our fingers crossed for good weather, allowing our beautiful Dales town to be shown on the world stage in the best possible light – we can’t wait to welcome this great race to our part of Yorkshire.