EXCITEMENT is building in Thirsk as preparations are well underway to welcome the Tour de Yorkshire to the town next month.

Thirsk is one of several towns in the region that will welcome the famous peloton on May 5 when Stage 3 sets off from Richmond to Scarborough.

The Tour de Yorkshire passed through the town back in 2016 which attracted hordes of visitors and Thirsk Mayor Hazel Dalgleish-Brown said that this year’s welcome will be even bigger with a host of extra entertainment planned.

A big screen will be erected in the Market Square for spectators to watch the race and there will be music by the Royal British legion band and children’s choir Songbirds who will be performing local Yorkshire songs.

There will also be face-painting, a stilt walker and a trick unicyclist to keep the crowds entertained.

Meanwhile, the Thirsk Yarnbombers will be decorating the town with their usual creative flair and shop displays and bunting will all add to the carnival atmosphere.

Ms Dalgleish-Brown said: “There is certainly a buzz - this town really knows how to put on an occasion.

“There is so much enthusiasm for the event, we do have a great community spirit in Thirsk and they get onboard with everything.

“When it the peloton come through a couple of years ago I wasn’t the Mayor and I just went along to watch and I couldn’t

In addition to all the entertainment, there will be a special open market on the Saturday which will attract traders that might not normally operate in Thirsk’s regular market.

Ms Dalgleish-Brown said this was part of a longer-term plan to rejuvenate the market and the hope is that new traders will return as regulars.

“We are busy emailing all kids of stall holders to see if they want to come along,” said Ms Dalgleish-Brown.

“It will bring a bit more to the market and hopefully if they have a nice time and enjoy it they may come back.”

The race will pass through Leyburn, Bedale and Northallerton after setting off from Richmond at 1.10pm on Saturday, May 5 and is expected to pass through Thirsk at around 2.40pm.