Article: Ben Colson
Images: Ben Colson
The Procession Returns
Returning to the ancient streets of Ripon following a two-year hiatus due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, the 2022 St Wilfrid’s Procession attracted thousands of people who lined the streets to clap and cheer as brightly decorated floats snaked their way through the city.
Led by St Wilfrid, his band of monks & Ripon City Band, the procession generated a party atmosphere with numerous local organisations entering floats and supporting the event through sponsorship.
The main body of the procession consisted of a range of brightly decorated tractors, lorries, & walking floats before ending with a huge 1980’s American truck, affectionately named ‘The Bear’.
Despite the two-year gap, the Ripon community really got behind the event, showcasing their creativity with themes such as Calendar Girls, Teddy Bear’s Picnic & Rapunzel all captivating spectators.
Antony Prince, of the St Wilfrid’s Procession Committee said “There is no St Wilfrid’s without the volunteers who put it together. All the money raised goes towards preserving the procession for future generations”.
In a first for the procession, Ripon Community Poppy Project made history with the first ever knitted float. Consisting of poppies, the Platinum Jubilee Beacon and Paddington Bear, the group led by Stuart Martin & Hazel Barker showcased some of the many projects the group have been involved in.
In keeping with the ancient tradition of the procession, the event culminated in a short service in Ripon Cathedral to celebrate St Wilfrid & to present the awards.
Flying into a close third position were Ripon Farm Services with their Top Gun themed float. Led by Pete ‘Maverick’ Swales & team, their American aircraft carrier themed float definitely deserved to sail into third position.
Teleporting into second place, were Club 1350 who transported their float into another dimension with aliens of all shapes and sizes. Dedicated to lives lost during the pandemic, the float reminded people of the challenges faced by many over the past 2 years.
Finally, sailing into 1st position were St Michael’s Hospice with their Save Our Oceans themed float. Decorated with nets, plastic bottles and other ocean pollutants, the float really brought the plight of our oceans to the attention of spectators.
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