Tour de France: First ‘Yorkshire Festival’ gets underway in city

Flower outside Town Hall
Flower outside Town Hall
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The first ever ‘Yorkshire Festival’ kicks off in the region today, signalling the start of the official countdown to the 2014 Tour de France.

A 100-day packed programme of art events and cultural activities will celebrate the lead up to the world’s biggest annual sporting event. The next three months will see exciting film premieres, unique dance productions and creative workshops, as the first ever festival to precede the Tour de France in its 111 year history gets underway.

Henrietta Duckworth, the festival’s executive producer, said: “All of the projects, as well as hundreds of Fringe events, are ready to reveal a myriad of opportunities across all artforms and the majority of Yorkshire Festival 2014’s programme is free to access. Everyone is invited to this party - log on, book in, bring your picnic and come and be part of it!”

The festival has been backed by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who said: “I am delighted to continue supporting the Yorkshire Festival 2014, the first of its kind.

“This is a great opportunity to showcase Yorkshire’s unique culture and boost local businesses as we gear up for the Grand Départ, which will bring in millions of pounds of investment to the region.

“I hope as many people as possible get involved so we can show the rest of the world what Yorkshire is all about.”

The festival officially launches this evening, when more than 2,000 people will attend a ‘Le Grand Départ 100 Days Dinner’ at Ripon Cathedral, hosted by Welcome To Yorkshire.

WTY Chief Executive Gary Verity said: “This is about getting the county charged with excitement for the next 100 days as we get ready to welcome the Tour de France. We’d encourage everyone to get into the spirit and be part of this incredible time for Yorkshire!”

Visit yorkshirefestival.co.uk for details.

Jonathan Watkins’ unique dance production of Kes at Sheffield Crucible, from March 27 -April 5.

* 100 screenings of Daisy Asquith’s ‘Velorama’ held across the county at indoor and outdoor locations as part of Sheffield Doc/Fest.

* Learn how to mine, smelt, design and forge a bike in the Sheffield Steel Peloton, from March 30-July 5

* Festival of Colour, Light and Space: Sheffield Cathedral’s creative outreach programme that will culminate in a five-day creative showcase from July 3-6.

* Bike Show at The Civic in Barnsley, May 16-July 12