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News Release - Issued by City of York Council

The Fête du Tour is here!

More and more events are joining in York and the UK’s first ever Fête du Tour to celebrate the Tour de France’s imminent arrival. The Fête du Tour (festival of the Tour) is a long-standing French tradition which involves communities along the route celebrating and building the excitement.

Councillor Sonja Crisp, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Culture and Tourism, said: “On Saturday, York city centre will have lots of French, cycling and yellow-themed activities to help residents and visitors get into the spirit of the Tour. The fun takes place from 10am to 4pm and will include members of Riding Lights Theatre who will be performing on a rotating stage, powered by bikes, whilst dressed in French costume and accompanied by an organist. Come along and savour the atmosphere!”

Visitors to the city centre can also pose as Sir Bradley Wiggins with the help of a cut out and mask. Information tents will have details about the Tour de France in York and the Made in Yorkshire market will be taking place from 29 May to 1 June, offering delicious treats for your Fête du Tour picnics and parties. There will also be the opportunity to purchase York’s ‘Experience the Race’ merchandise.

York’s city centre will be dressed with yellow bunting in Parliament Street, St Sampson’s Square and Coney Street to bring a truly festive spirit to the centre of York.

Community events for the Fete du Tour can link in with Marie Curie Cancer Care, the official charity partner of the Grand Départ, which is why City of York Council’s staff are being invited to wear yellow or French on Friday 30 May.

Marie Curie Power Peloton rider Mike Hughes from York is also urging people across the city to wear yellow and French and donate £1 to his collection. Mike’s riding the 190km Stage 1 of the Tour de France just three hours ahead of the professional riders on Saturday 5 July 2014, to raise £19,000 for the charity.

Mike is also hosting a LovetoEat fundraiser on Saturday 31 May as well as a Fête du Tour York Pub Trail starting at 12pm at ‘Your Bike Shed’ on Micklegate. Later that evening, he’s throwing a Fête du Tour BBQ at Forest Farm, Selby Road in York from 4pm to 7pm with a tombola, fun and games. The £15 tickets – under 16s go free – includes food and drinks all supported by local businesses. To donate to this fundraising feat, email or visit to pledge a donation, or text MJDH64 (£amount) to 70070.

Other Fête du Tour events will include local cycling group York Bike Belles painting the York Mileposts yellow on Sustrans’ National Cycle Network on 1 June, while you can feast your eyes on the gorgeous exhibits at Le Tour de France Quilt Museum on Peasholme Green, as well as at the Royals Then and Now exhibition at Beningborough Hall, an hour’s easy pedal out of York. Paul Telford’s exhibition of French landscape photography at Friargate Theatre forms part of Riding Lights Theatre Company’s French FRIes and gives a taste of the countryside through which the larger part of le Tour will pass.

For those who want to celebrate cycling and the Tour de France, City of York Council has produced a range of funky merchandise featuring the iconic York skyline and ‘Experience the Race’ branding. As well as being able to purchase this in York on Saturday, you can also visit www.experiencetherace for more information and to order.

There’s also more information to help your planning to celebrate the Tour coming to York at http://éparty and


Notes to Editors

Photo opportunity: Photographers are invited to the revolving stage at St Sampson’s Square at 12.30pm to take photos of the Riding Lights performers.

The council’s five key priorities for 2011-2015 are:

· Create jobs and grow the economy

· Get York moving

· Build strong communities

· Protect vulnerable people

· Protect the environment

The council’s cabinet member for Leisure, Culture and Tourism is Councillor Sonja Crisp on 07876 176931

For further information please contact:

Megan Rule

Communications Manager

City of York Council

Tel: 01904 552017

Fax: 01904 551064

Mob/out of hours: 07767318082