7 unusual ways to spend May bank holiday: From bread throwing to bouncing along an epic inflatable course

Traditionally May Day would see people eating lamb, dancing around maypoles and taking part in parades with a May king or queen.While some Yorkhire traditions have remained such as bread throwing and hanging rowan tree branches, there are lots of traditional and very untraditional events taking place.

Here are some of the unusual ways you can spend the Early May Bank Holiday:

  1. Catching bread during Wath Festival’s bun throwing event

A popular folk festival which has been going for more than 40 years, will bring back its now custom bun throwing at 12 noon on Saturday May 4. The tradition was revived to coincide with the festival in memory of Thomas Tuke Esquire’s will which is also read out. Thomas Tuke was a clergyman who said that every December money was to be distributed in Penny Loaves by Church Wardens.

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William's Den will host the 175 inflatableWilliam's Den will host the 175 inflatable
William's Den will host the 175 inflatable

Nowadays as the clock strikes 12 noon, bread donated by local stores is thrown from the spire into crowds.

During mediaeval times bread was often distributed to impoverished people. White bread particularly was seen as the ultimate luxury.

2. Bounce along the 175 inflatable course

One of the longest inflatable obstacles in the north, ‘the 175’ inflatable, is popping up in North Cave, near Hull. The ultimate blue obstacle course, complete with a rope to swing over, hills to clamber up and three slides to zoom down will be at William's Den throughout the early May Bank Holiday weekend. With its twin track you can also race a loved one with as many goes as you like.

Woollen Tank: Hardcore knitters use thousands of balls of wool to mark DDay in North YorkshireWoollen Tank: Hardcore knitters use thousands of balls of wool to mark DDay in North Yorkshire
Woollen Tank: Hardcore knitters use thousands of balls of wool to mark DDay in North Yorkshire

Twin-tracked, it’s the perfect place to race friends and family with as many goes as you like.

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As well as taking on ‘The 175’ inflatable, visitors can play in the indoor and outdoor play areas as well as eat a well deserved gelato or grab some hot grub in the restaurant.

3. Take part in a Wacky Races style challenge

It's Bradford’s annual soapbox race where teams compete along a course lined with hay bales this Sunday May 5.

William's Den's inflatable courseWilliam's Den's inflatable course
William's Den's inflatable course

Organiser Bradford Bid says on their website: ‘Watch brave soapbox racers hurtle down our huge ramp...It’ll be a great day out for all the family with continual commentary and all the action visible on large format screens.’

There’ll also be a fun fair, entertainment, live music and lots of food and drink.

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4. Head to the streets of the North Yorkshire coast

Scarborough Town Centre won’t be just buzzing with beach goers but there’s a three day festival celebrating the best of creativity in the town. From murals to street art and performances throughout the streets.

5. Get your Steampunk gear on to head to the heart of the Bronte Country

Put on your Steampunk gear for Haworth’s Steampunk festival. Head to the historic town for singing, dancing, crown bowling, steam trains and even a dog show.

The event raises vital funds for the Sue Ryder's Manorlands Hospice.

6. Get some knitting inspiration and reflect on the story behind a lifesize Woollen Tank

A group of volunteers from North Yorkshire have been “knitting furiously” since January, spending over 5500 hours creating their own tank to mark 80 years of DDay in Ripon.

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Ripon has a rich military history but in 2017 no poppies nor celebrations were to be seen for the annual DDay anniversary which led to complaints from locals.

This was the brainchild behind the Ripon Community Poppy Project.

Co Founder and former Mayor Stuart, 67, said:

“Most families have some connection.

“We wanted to pull the community together and increase the footfall.

“In the first year of us starting we managed to get 65,000 poppies donated, now we have around 75,000 and we have replenished them over the years.

“We refresh every year with different designs.”

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This year is the 80th anniversary of DDay and it marks the 75th anniversary of the Royal Engineers gaining the Freedom of the City of Ripon.

This inspired the group to do something extra special to mark the heritage of the city’s military history.

Ripon’s barracks were originally built as a convalescent camp for troops during the First World War. Thousands of troops were housed there, including the wartime poet Wilfred Owen, who wrote some of his famous works at the site.

It continued to be used by troops training for the Second World War and the Cold War and is still in use today by the Royal Engineers.

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“18 months ago we decided to plan to make a Churchill AVRE (armoured vehicle royal engineers) tank to mark the anniversary.”

The group planned to use a timber frame and then wool to build the design.

The full sized knitted Churchill AVRE tank will be on display at The Ripon Inn until May 9.

  1. Try circus skills at a historic castle

RichmondFest is back with storytelling, entertainment and dancing. Everything from Clog Dancing to live music and morris dancing in town.

Head to Richmond Castle and Richmondshire Museum for a range of activities throughout the weekend.

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