Streets around a North Yorkshire town centre are to benefit from symbolic splashes of colour as it prepares to host the world’s biggest cycling tournament this month.
Over the coming weeks, the team from Harrogate International Festivals will be painting streets, hanging lanterns and lighting up various landmarks as Harrogate prepares to “Welcome the World”, when it hosts the UCI Road World Cycling Championships.
The colourful installations link with the UCI logo and the iconic colourful striped winner’s jersey, which features the five colours of the Olympic rings representing the five continents.
In the last week, the team has hung more than 120 multi-coloured lanterns in Harrogate Bus Station and painted the alleyway between HSBC on Cambridge Street and Lakeland on James Street, in a multi-coloured carpet.
They will also be refreshing the steps leading from Back Cheltenham Mount to Kings Road – originally painted in July ahead of the Carnival – and creating colourful installations in unexpected places.
Lizzie Brewster, Harrogate International Festivals Development Manager, said: “In just a few weeks we will be ‘Welcoming the World’ with the arrival of the UCI Road World Cycling Championships, and we want Harrogate to look fantastic.
“Ahead of the of the arrival of hundreds of thousands of riders, supporters, spectators and news crews from all over the world, we have been commissioned by Y19 – the organisation charged with delivering the spectacular – to bring the colour of the UCI to the town in the run up to the championships.
“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for us to showcase our beautiful town to the whole world, and we are now bringing the colour and excitement of the UCI to Harrogate.
“Whilst Harrogate is famous for its amazing floral displays we are adding to this bringing a unique and surprising splash of colour to some pretty bland locations.
“These are areas that people in Harrogate walk past regularly without giving a second glance to. However, with a little bit of creativity, they will make people look twice, pause, and hopefully make memories.”
Alex Hornby, chief executive of Harrogate Bus Company, said: “For many of the visitors coming to watch the UCI, the bus station will be their first experience of Harrogate, and we want to make it as welcoming as possible.
“The lanterns hung by Harrogate International Festivals are already a talking point for our customers – they look great, have given the bus station a real lift and have a put a smile on the faces of many catching our buses or just passing through.”
Lizzie added: “The feedback from the work of our #UCIFairies has been fantastic, with images appearing all over social media. As we were working in the town centre comments included ‘I’d have it everywhere’, ‘That looks great’, ‘I love it!’, ‘It brings some colour to the street’, ‘Just what it needs’, and ‘My clients will love it’.
“We are really looking forward to playing our part in ensuring that when we ‘Welcome the World’, Harrogate shines in the best light possible.”