Flying pigs and dragon bikes at the Hebden Bridge Handmade Parade

Yesterday the boys and I headed over to visit my sister and beautiful nieces, who live just outside Hebden Bridge.  Yesterday was also the annual Hebden Bridge Handmade Parade - a wonderfully colourful and fun parade involving over 750 people all wearing costumes that have been made by hand in a series of community workshops over the preceding months.

So, off we set along the wonderful shared use path into Hebden Bridge to watch the Handmade Parade.  The path leads directly into the heart of the town and is a wide safe route for travel by foot, bike, horse, scooter, pram and pushchair. I've lost count of the number of times we've used it - and it's always busy (note to our MP's who will be debating cycling in parliament very soon - when parents have safe routes that go somewhere we need them to go, we use them......)

The four children were on their scooters, and I was really impressed with the way 4 year old T's mini micro scooter flew along the track, which is quite uneven in places.  It was wonderful not to have to worry about traffic - they were able to scoot off, and then wait for my sister and I to catch up on foot.

Hebden Bridge Handmade Parade

Kids bike decorated as a dragon at the Hebden Bridge Handmade ParadeThe Handmade Parade was absolutely brilliant - the amount of work that had gone into the costumes was incredible.  The theme of the 2013 Hebden Bridge Handmade Parade was Myths, Mysteries and Mayhem, and the parade is always split into 4 sections: earth, wind, fire and water.

T was a bit overwhelmed by some of the costumes, so I had to cuddle him and talk to him about what the characters were. He was then happy and smiling, but this did mean I didn't manage to get too many photos.

I would have like to get more images for you to see the wonderful way bikes had been decorated and were used in the parade.

There were kids on bikes and scooters decorated as dragons and sea creatures. A number of the larger models were being transported on tricycles - these photos show the Flying Pig and Pegasus (which was my favourite!)

Paper mache flying pig attached to a tricycle at the Hebden Bridge Handmade parade

Model of Pegasus at the Hebden Bridge Handmade Parade 2013

As well as the Handmade Parade, one of the highlights of the day for my boys was watching the stunts being performed by the local teenage lads on the BMX and Skate Park.  This is an amazing facility, that again, is always busy when we go past.  There are always lads on skateboards, BMX's and scooters refining their skills - it's quite incredible to watch.

I say lads, because I, personally, have never seen a girl there, other than as a spectator - which ties into recent research that says girls tend to stop cycling as they become teenagers.

Hebden Bridge BMX and skate park

I need to work out how I can get my boys onto the park during a future visit at a time when they won't get in the way of the "bigger boys"!

So, if you're ever in or near Hebden Bridge when the Handmade Parade is on, I'd really recommend it for a great family day. They have a website at www.handmadeparade.co.uk/hebdenparade

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