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News Release - Issued by City of York Council

Get set for a full Grand Départy weekend

Residents are being encouraged to prepare for a full and diverse cultural weekend to celebrate the Tour de France as events and activities for the whole family take place across the city from Friday 4 to Sunday 6 July.

Cllr Sonja Crisp, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Culture and Tourism said: “York is buzzing this weekend and it’s down to thousands of people being inspired by and getting behind the Tour de France!

“We’re expecting many more coming to enjoy the show York’s putting on to celebrate the world’s biggest annual sports event and we hope they’ll return for more in the future.

“Alongside Sunday’s 440-vehicle cavalcade handing out goodies from 9am ahead of the world’s 200 top cyclists setting off at 11am from the Racecourse, we have four spectator hubs where people can watch and take part in some fantastic sports activities.

“Amongst the spectacle are events from York: Be Part of It, the city’s arts and cultural festival which has amassed an amazing showcase of creative and cultural talent leading up to and including 6 July.

“York’s festival programme involves community projects, contemporary and performing arts, poetry, street parties, music, street theatre, festivals, installations, regional touring work and so much more! I can’t wait for this weekend!”

Highlights include:

Friday 4 – Sunday 6 July

· York Curiouser explores the city centre through contemporary art interventions in colour, texture and word

· Boulevard St Leonard’s will have themed pavement cafés, French decoration and music. Plus, Maintenant (Now) is a sound installation of 100 sounds of Paris and 100 sounds of York - Now! Both are commissioned by Yorkshire Air Museum and York Theatre Royal. and

· 60 stunning 15-feet long mediaeval-style banners created by 50 community groups and hung from the city walls from the Lendal Bridge archway to Bishophill via Micklegate bar

· Sonnet Walks involve a collection of costumed characters performing Shakespeare sonnets and speeches around the city centre.

Friday 4 July

· The Grand Départy, which kicks off the weekend with an amazing festival-style line-up at Huntington Stadium! Headlined by boy band Union J, it also includes Russell Watson, Rough Copy, Kian Egan of Westlife-fame, York-based singer songwriter Alistair Griffin, Altered Images, Brother Beyond, The Blow Monkeys and The Overtones, as well as popular York acts Disco Mister and HUGE. Doors open at 4.30pm and the entertainment will begin around 5.30pm. The concert will be finished by 10.30pm. There will be inflatables, trampolines and more for children to enjoy. Tickets are £20 each or £50 for a family ticket from or from Huntington Stadium on the night

· Bike Story: What's Yours? At 7pm at Rowntree Park, this free, outdoor theatre show brings to life everyday stories of bikes and cycling. Commissioned from Arts 509 by the Yorkshire Festival 2014 and City of York Council and written by Mike Kenny of The Railway Children success. This is a specially devised sing and sign performance featuring York’s Hands and Voices choir.

Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 July

· Le Grand Festival De Rue offers a weekend of unique and quirky street entertainment and performance art around the city centre streets of York. Street artists, face painting, stilt walkers, buskers, live music and plenty of balloons! Highlights include specially commissioned street performances by Riding Lights Theatre on Sunday 6 July including the smallest theatre in the world!

· Le Grand Laser Dome at Tower Street is a large dome featuring French music and laser light show with a range of official Tour de France merchandise

· The National Railway Museum has a rail bike-themed weekend with a collection of curious pedal-powered vehicles developed for rail inspectors and engineers.

Saturday 5 July

· Crazy Rescued Bikes (Bike Rescue Project) on Saturday: An extra-ordinary bike display and family activities, decorating bikes and making 'steampunk' jewellery

· Velocipede Festival at the Golden Ball pub in Bishophill. 12 York bands will be playing through a pedal-powered sound system; real ales will be cycled in from local breweries; there’ll be a tricycle printing press; a bike-powered blacksmith’s forge and much more family entertainment.

Sunday 6 July

· The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight will be making three passes over the city centre on Sunday morning with an RAF Lancaster Bomber accompanied by a Spitfire and Hurricane fighter

· J'adore Bishy Rue (Bishopthorpe Road Street party) Live music, entertainment, food stalls, raffles and hospitality

· On Yer Bike – saddle up and ride the Solar System way with a festival of music, art and poetry along Route 65 of the National Cycle Network – home of the scale model of the Solar System.

· Musical entertainment at Huntington Stadium Spectator Hub will be provided by both York’s Military Wives Choir and the York Concert Band. This acclaimed ensemble, with over 50 local members, will be playing in Paris on the weekend the Tour finishes.

· Orillo Yorkshire Garden Party, set in the Museum Gardens will be a wonderful garden party with live entertainment, open-air cinema and fabulous refreshments.

From Holgate Windmill hanging bunting from the sails, to J’Adore Bishy Road and other street parties, York Curiouser’s artistic installations, the Velocipede Festival and a collection of railway bikes at the NRM it’s going to be an amazing weekend.

The full programme of York: Be Part of It events are at

For further info about Spectator Hubs visit

For details about the route visit

For travel information and to plan your journey visit


Notes to Editors

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:

Ann Bewley

Communications Officer

City of York Council

Tel: 01904 553383

Fax: 01904 551064

Mob/out of hours: 07767318082