Otley Carnival is a day long celebration of the town and its residents aimed at giving local children a day to remember. The event is held on the third Saturday of June every year and achieved its 25th anniversary in 2008.

The day consists of a parade comprising numerous colourful floats, walking tableau s, bands, and a variety of vehicles which wends its way through the town centre starting at the Leeds Road auction mart and finishing at the Otley Show fields at Bridge End. As an indication of the size of the parade the 2008 parade included 47 entries. The floats and walking group are entered by local schools, businesses, voluntary organisations and charities and are judges and prizes/certificates awarded before the parade commences at around 1.15 pm.

The parade leads the public into the Showfield where many stalls, sideshows, funfare activities for children surround the main arena where the Carnival Queen and her team are crowned and entertainment is provided by bands and different speciality visiting acts each year.

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Local organisations are selected to benefit from a collection which is held during the day and a substantial sum is collected from the estimated 25,000 people who line the streets to watch the parade. A carnival programme is also professionally produced and the proceeds from its sale together with the carnival raffle add to the funds for the beneficiaries,

Many local businesses join in the celebrations by helping with the production costs of the programme by taking out adverts and an average of 30 shopkeepers join in the annual window dressing competition every year. The window decorations are varied and attractive and after being judged on the Sunday before the carnival remain on show all week adding to the carnival atmosphere in the town.


Archive from previous carnivals