THE ever-popular North Parade Street Festival is to return on Bank Holiday weekend, Sunday, August 29 – thanks to Bradford BID.
The Business Improvement District (BID) is sponsoring the one-day family fun event to help support shops, bars, cafes and other businesses to get back on their feet as they recover from the impact of the pandemic.
The annual event, which started in 2014, was unable to take place last year because of lockdown and the Covid-19 restrictions but this year it will bounce back as a single-day event packed with food, entertainment, music and street animation.
“We’ve had huge support from local businesses who can’t wait to welcome people back to this ever-popular festival,” said Jonny Noble, manager of the BID, the limited company funded by levy-payers to help promote and develop the city centre.
“We carried out a survey along North Parade and more than 75 per cent of those who responded were fully behind getting the event back on the calendar this year.
“The Festival has been growing in popularity every year since it was launched and it was a huge shame that the businesses weren’t able to stage it last year, especially after 2019 when the weather let us down.
“Now we have a chance to get the momentum going again and bring people back to see just how much the ‘Top of Town’ area has to offer.”
North Parade itself will be closed to traffic from 6am to 10pm on Sunday, August 29, with the event taking place between 11pm and 7pm.
“We want it to be a really family-oriented day so we’re organising fairground rides for children and street animation as well as the usual food and drink offer,” said Mr Noble.
The festival will feature a makers’ market of arts and craft stalls and a wide variety of food and drink vendors. Several bars and restaurants will be offering outdoor facilities, including Crafted, Peacocks and the Boar & Fable.
There will be no “big stage” this year but there will be a variety of acoustic music acts that will appear at various locations around North Parade.
James Brunskill, who owns the Boar & Fable bar, said: “It will be great to see people back in the street in numbers again – I’m really excited about it. I think we can make a really nice day of it.
“We’re going to make it as safe as possible so that people can feel confident that they can come and have a nice time, especially with businesses trading outside and a lot of the music and entertainment spread out and the traders spread out.
“It’s a fantastic event for us because we opened during the first lockdown and a lot of people have never seen us, so it’s a great opportunity for people to come along for the first time and see the beers we sell and so on.
“And there are a lot of new businesses, there’s been quite a bit of change on North Parade, with new bars and others opening, and it can only be a positive, especially with a much more family-themed event. It’s going to be great!”
BID chairman Ian Ward said: “We’re obviously very mindful of the fact we’re still in a pandemic so the organisers will be encouraging visitors to take the appropriate precautions and to maintain social distancing wherever possible.
“But with the Government giving the go-ahead for outdoor events to happen again, we need to do all we can to support local businesses and provide opportunities for people to just come along and see what’s on offer in this unique part of Bradford.
“It’s a great chance for people who don’t normally visit the Top of Town to come and have some fun while visiting North Parade’s collection of shops and hostelries and it fits perfectly with our Rediscover Bradford campaign which is aimed at encouraging people to come back to the city centre and view it with fresh eyes.”