Join the Selby 950 carnival!

School children painting banners for the Selby950 parade

Want to be part of the Selby 950 carnival parade through Selby? Now is your chance to get involved!

A series of free events have been announced to help you get involved in the parade by creating banners, puppets, flags, costumes or masks. You can also get involved in the event’s performance itself – with singing, dancing and performance workshops. The parade is just one of a series of events the District Council, Abbey and wider community are organising to celebrate the 950th anniversary of the Abbey.

Created and performed by locally based arts and community groups, the parade offers lots of opportunities to get involved. Maybe you could even help create the ten foot tall Benedict, who will be a star of the parade.

Funded by Arts Council England and the District Council, the parade tells the story of the journey from France to Selby, of the monk, Benedict, who founded the Abbey in 1069..

Several Selby-based groups will be working with leading arts company, Edgelands Arts, to deliver a truly spectacular event, including: Selby Community Choir, Tadcaster-based Leilah Vyner, from Dragon Willow, Selby Theatre and Dance Academy, drama club Just Drama, as well as local musicians.

Bev Adams, Parade Director and Co-Director of Edgelands Arts, said:  “We are offering a warm welcome to anyone who would like to come along to these workshops and drop in sessions. The parade is a celebration of everything that is Selby and we want to encourage as many people as possible to join in.” 

The parade will end at Selby Abbey where a living history day will be taking place – there’ll be events, crafts and re-enactments in and around the Abbey all day. Selby Abbey will also welcome the arrival of their new icon of St Germain on the same day.

Executive member, Cllr Chris Pearson said, “This parade – and the other Selby 950 events taking place throughout the year – demonstrates the council’s commitment to deliver a programme of arts and heritage events to celebrate the 950th anniversary of the founding of Selby Abbey. We’re investing in these events to help make the district a great place to live.”

To find out about the workshops, visit

The parade is part of the Selby 950 year long celebrations, which also included the Selby Sings project involving hundreds of local school children performing the songs they'd written about the history of Selby Abbey at a special show there. Selby Abbey will also be dramatically illuminated in a really special art show for three evenings in November. This project, sponsored by Drax Group plc, will feature recorded footage (made during a period of residency in Selby). There’s also a Hidden Histories project that will display the town's history and heritage on the streets themselves.  These events have been made possible due to funding from the Arts Council of nearly £70,000 and National Lottery Heritage Fund of £45,000.