Wet weather wasn’t enough to dampen the spirits of festival-goers at Eroica Britannia.
Despite ten days of heavy rain and storms prior to the annual festival; the event saw crowds in their tens of thousands attend the three day event. Kicking off on Friday 17th June; the weekend featured cycling, food, music and shopping; showcasing local Yorkshire and Derbyshire businesses.
‘The Ride’ took place on Sunday 19th June – the final day of the festival – which saw a record breaking number of 4,500 participants (more women than ever before, too) take on a three-route bike ride on pre-1987 road bikes, covering 30, 55 and 100 miles of the Peak District, Derbyshire and Staffordshire.
Riders, who clocked up an impressive combined mileage of over 250,000 miles, were aged from 9 to 86 years old and some international riders travelled to the event from as far as the USA, Australia and New Zealand.
Known for our northern hospitality, riders received a warm welcome from local residents who invited them into their homes for refreshments while others sampled local cuisine at ‘feast stops’ along the way.
Celebrity guest, Olympian Chris Boardman, also stopped by to show his support, handing out rider packs at the registration desk, much to the delight of fans who queued for autographs.
Nick Cotton, founding partner of Eroica Britannia commented: “We have been overwhelmed with local support.
“We have over 200 volunteers who freely give their time to be involved in our award winning Festival and the iconic Ride.
“We work closely with the villages and towns of the area to make the event work hard for locals in terms of positive profile and driving high volumes of visitors to the area.”
The event is world-famous for its handsome styling and has a reputation for being ‘The World’s Most Handsome Festival’ due to the fact festival go-ers and riders dress up in vintage-glam and flamboyant outfits.
The ever popular ‘Best In Show’ was hosted on Saturday with hundreds of ‘best dressed families’, ‘best dressed dogs’, and ‘best dressed riders’ taking part in the parade ring which was judged by Patrick Grant of Savile Row and the BBCs Sewing Bee.
New competition categories for 2016 included: ‘Best in Show – The Great British Cake Off’, judged by celebrity chef Charlotte White; and ‘Best Home Brew’ judged by Hendricks’s Gin.
Following near floods just days ahead of the show, festival organisers took expert advice from land management specialists with £25,000 re-invested back into the weekend with teams working around the clock with 200,000 tonnes of woodchip, grid systems and drainage to ensure festival go-ers could move as easily as possible over Bakewell’s grassland showground. Organisers were praised for their quick management of the land by festival go-ers and campers.
Dedicated to supporting the local community – even surplus food and drink is being donated to local food banks.
Last year £3.5M was injected into the local economy and organisers are expecting to top that number this year.