RESIDENTS of a close-knit cluster of North Yorkshire villages are preparing to welcome a gathering of more than 25 celebrity faces to help promote the Tour de France.

Villagers in Kirkby Fleetham, Great Fencote and Little Fencote have already seen Wallace and Gromit make an appearance ahead of the Celebs on Cycles event, but more will descend on the villages by Saturday, June 28, for a nine day stay.

The combined parish council for the villages is holding a competition inviting people to name all the celebrity scarecrows with the chance to win £25, open between 1pm and 5pm during the nine days leading up to the Tour de France, and costs £3 for adults, £1.50 for children and under fives free.

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There will be a trail map available and there is ample free parking for visitors taking part in the challenge to spot all the characters designed and made by residents.

Also taking place during the weekend of June 28 and 29, and July 5 and 6 will be a spinning challenge to see how far participants can get in five minutes.

The villages will be offering afternoon teas in Kirkby Fleetham Village Hall.

Resident Margaret Wilson said: “Our villages are close together so the energetic could walk around all three with no problem, or if you prefer, take your bike or car.

“Delicious homemade Yorkshire teas and will be available in the village hall and there will also be various stalls.”

Celebs on Cycles has been approved as part of the Yorkshire Festival Fringe events and is being held to raise funds for the refurbishment of Kirkby Fleetham Village Hall and St Mary’s Church.

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