50 YEARS OF BROMYARD GALA
Bromyard Gala began in 1967 to highlight the attractions of the town that potential visitors would miss if they used the newly built A44 by-pass. Local traders took stands to advertise their wares and local citizens took part in various games to reveal their skills!
Over the years the Gala took on the role of promoting country pursuits and became a regular fixture in the world of the steam enthusiast. The historical perspective developed with displays of vintage vehicles, entertainments began to be brought in as chief feature in the main arena.
In the run-up to Gala Weekend, Bromyard was offered 'a full week of entertainment' with a varied programme of events. There were several dances during the week, appealing to different generations, and sports events which included a rounders tournament & 6-a-side football matches, including ladies' matches. In the early days, there were plays, talent shows and concerts, a window-spotting competition, together with the 'Round the Downs Road Race. Animals featured too, in the horse show and Working Hunters Show and the Dog Show. Probably the best-loved fund-raising event and one which continues today, was the famous Donkey Derby.
The parade of carnival floats and a fancy dress competition have been an integral part of the Gala since its inception. Community groups, work colleagues or even a bunch of neighbours would spend days and weeks making costumes and decorating vehicles of all sizes and description ready for the big day. If ever there was a case of taking part being more important than winning then the Bromyard Gala Carnival is it.