Stokesley celebrates Tourfest success with film unveiling

Tourfest 2016-4

A free festival to celebrate the Tour de Yorkshire in Stokesley has been hailed a huge success as businesses start to realise the benefits of showcasing the town to thousands of visitors and further events are now being planned.

In addition, a short, commemorative film of the day has been produced by a local film-maker.

Almost 7,000 people visited Stokesley Tourfest to enjoy live music, fairground rides, street entertainers, food stalls, a mobile bar and parades along the High Street, as well as the large, outdoor screen showing the Tour de Yorkshire.

Such was the success for the town that organisers are now hoping to hold an annual May Bank Holiday event and other events throughout the year.

Stokesley-based film-maker, Rich Lehman, has unveiled a short film of Tourfest’s highlights, funded by various local businesses who wanted to contribute to a legacy piece to remember the day. Rich himself has worked with a wide range of people over the years, from Academy Award and Grammy winners in Los Angeles, to local parish Councils in North Yorkshire. In 2012, Rick picked up an NME Award for his work on music videos. The short film can be viewed here https://youtu.be/34KHb9yeRxc

The Tour de Yorkshire passed through Stokesley around noon on the final day, Sunday May 1st, after setting off from Middlesbrough with the cyclists covering a gruelling 123-mile route before finishing in Scarborough.

Almost a month after the Tour de Yorkshire, businesses in Stokesley have already reported better than average sales for the time of year and have hailed the event a major success.

Rachel Brown, who runs Brown’s newsagents in Stokesley, said: “As a resident and owner of a small, independent business in Stokesley the magnificent effort that was put into the organisation of Stokesley Tourfest was without a doubt a tremendous success. Owning a retail business in Stokesley for the past 25 years the comments from residents, visitors and other businesses was all positive. Without a doubt it was probably my busiest trading Sunday for a very long time and certainly since Sunday trading laws were opened up to supermarkets. Working together as a community, we can only grow and improve our lovely market town.”

Natalie Collins, from Stokesley, runs Chunk Chocolates and held a stall at Tourfest. Natalie said: “The day was a great success and I personally felt a big part of it all and also the community turned out in force. The town was buzzing and a real feeling of community spirit was very prominent throughout the day.”

Jane Ablett, who runs Chapter’s Deli, said: “The fantastic media exposure in the lead up to the event brought in lots of new faces to our business. It was great organisation from Hambleton District Council and our own Parish Council did an exemplary job and made sure everything went without a hitch. The fantastic friendly atmosphere had people wondering if a similar event could be repeated more regularly which we at Chapters Deli would certainly support.”

Stokesley Parish Council, volunteers and local businesses spent almost six months organising the market town’s free Tourfest festival which was headlined by world-renowned saxophonist Snake Davis, who has played all over the world with the likes of Sir Paul McCartney and M People. Other artists included the Colin Holt Band, singer and guitarist Val Boyers, rising local star Amelia Coburn, Elaine Palmer, Doctor Brown and the BBC Young Musician of the Year Alexander Bone and his band.

Local businessman Stewart Brennan, a parish councillor and one of the organisers of Tourfest, said: “The weather certainly wasn’t kind on the day itself but the crowds turned out in their thousands. Even we as organisers were overwhelmed by the huge success of the event. But the very best result is that our wonderful business community came together to make Tourfest a roaring success- and they are seeing the benefits for themselves.”

The short film can be viewed here https://youtu.be/34KHb9yeRxc

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