The organisers of Bilton Gala in Harrogate have decided that it will no longer continue.
Their difficult decision follows a decline in visitor numbers, with attendance dropping from 5,000 people in 2014 to under 2,000 people for the last two years.
As a result, it has left the committee with a shortage of funds to stage the event. Last year, the Gala made a loss of more than £2,000 and lost over £700 this year.
A public meeting was held in August to discuss how the Gala could be saved and options included passing responsibility for organising it to another group.
Chairman Stuart Frost said:
We initially had offers of help, but unfortunately they came to nothing. We also appealed for more sponsorship and again nothing was forthcoming.
In the last few years, we’ve had many conversations about the future of the Gala and decided to keep going, but sadly the time has come to call it a day.
The first Bilton Gala was held in 1977 and times have changed a lot since then, so we accept that it has perhaps run its course and there is maybe no longer an appetite for this type of event in Harrogate.
It’s a great shame that so many years of tradition have ended and we know that many people will be just as disappointed as we are.
We would like to thank everyone who has supported the Gala over the years, whether they were a visitor, stallholder, entertainer or one of our volunteers on the day. It means a lot to the five of us on the committee.
Any profits from the Gala in previous years have gone into the Bilton Community Fund and it has been decided that the charity will continue to support local groups and projects.
Although the Gala will not take place, we care a lot about the Bilton community and we’re very keen that it still benefits from money raised locally. We would welcome everyone’s thoughts on how the fund can be maintained.
The Bilton Gala committee can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org