Top marks for our 2024 Creative Competition!

Three local school children have got top marks for creating artwork which depicts Ilkley Carnival’s Mardi Gras theme!

Addingham Primary School’s Alice Cheeseman (7), Ashlands Primary pupil Matilda Hitchcock (10) and Ghyll Royd’s Samuel Weller (10) were voted as the top entrants in this year’s Ilkley Carnival Creative Cover Competition, with Samuel announced as the overall winner, securing his vibrant picture on the cover of this year’s event programme.

The three art enthusiasts were among the highest number of entrants ever received in the annual competition which is sponsored by Bradford Grammar School. For the first time in the competition’s history, entries were received from 11 local schools covering Addingham, Ilkley and Burley-in-Wharfedale.

Samuel Weller’s eye-catching entry was judged best of the best by Bradford Grammar School’s Head of Art Sarah Horsfield who declared it a “wonderful poster, creating lots of impact, representing the excitement of Carnival.”

Samuel said: “It feels amazing to be chosen as the winner. I love doing different types of artwork. I worked really hard on my design, choosing vibrant colours to show how fun and exciting Ilkley Carnival and Mardi Gras celebrations are.

“I’m really proud to represent my school and Ilkley Carnival with my artwork and I’m looking forward to the Carnival and hope everyone has fun.”

Seven-year-old Addingham Primary pupil Alice, who won the 5-8 age category with her picture showing balloons, drums, flags and masks, said she has always loved drawing and colouring.

She added: “I talked to my mum and dad about what Mardi Gras is and I wanted to draw what you’d see people wearing and doing there. I’ve been to Ilkley Carnival lots of times and am really looking forward to the day this year!”

Matilda Hitchcock’s design provided an inspiring blend of iconic Ilkley images blended with Mardi Gras symbolism. She added: “My inspiration came from the lovely town we live in and the bright colours of Mardi Gras. I wanted to encapsulate the different features of Ilkley and everything you can enjoy at the carnival.”

All profits raised from Ilkley Carnival go back into the community and the event will take place this year on Monday 6 May, beginning with a 1,000 strong parade along The Grove, finishing at East Holmes Field parade ground on Denton Road. The day’s family entertainment includes the annual fun dog show, a free craft tent, Ilkley Rocks featuring live local bands and the bike stunt team Defying Gravity.

Samuel, receives a prize of an art set and will be taking his classmates for a specially created arts class at Bradford Grammar School in June. All three winning entries will be framed and placed on display at Clarendon Fine Art on The Grove while other entries will be on display in select Ilkley retailers throughout the town and in the foyer at Booths.

For more information on our creative sponsor Bradford Grammar School please visit

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