Drovers Day celebration returns to Wetherby in June

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Wetherby is set to celebrate ‘Drovers Day’ with Wetherby’s Cultural Gala and Brass Band Marching Contest on Sunday, June 9.

This will be the second year Wetherby has held this event, the first time being part of Leeds city of Culture 2023.

Drovers Day marks the time when for more than 150 years, huge numbers of animals were reared in Scotland and then driven to markets in the South of England.

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Wetherby’s position on the Great North Road, its ford and bridge, made it an important crossing point, market and stopover for Drovers and their animals. The trade resulting from Droving helped build the town and its facilities. This history of the lives of ordinary people is often overlooked but it formed the heart of this beautiful part of Leeds. The Drover’s dilemma was whether to pay to use the safe crossing on the bridge or risk fording the river Wharfe.

Hebden Bridge Band march through WetherbyHebden Bridge Band march through Wetherby
Hebden Bridge Band march through Wetherby

This event marks the importance of this cultural history of Wetherby using music and a full range of arts and craft in the market square. It will start at 11am and there will be an opening speech by the Mayor Dawn Payne, followed by music by Streetlife, Strolling Bones and Emma. This will be followed at 12pm with another aspect of Wetherby’s and Yorkshire’s culture – a Brass Band competition starting at the Riverside Bandstand. 21 bands from across Yorkshire and beyond, including Wetherby’s own Silver Band, will be marching and playing through Wetherby at two stages in town and also by the riverside Bandstand from noon until early evening. ⠀⠀⠀⠀

One of the organisers Kazia Knight added: “The Wetherby Lions and the Wetherby Bandstand organisation see this event going from strength to strength and building on the great event held in 2023.

"It was a wonderful day for people in Wetherby and attracted many to the town to see the bands and the events taking place. We are really looking forward to seeing what we can achieve in 2024.

"Families and everyone in the local area and beyond are welcome to come and enjoy the hospitality that Wetherby has to offer and share and remember our cultural heritage”.