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News release - Issued by Visit York

Record number of attractions and offers for the 22nd York Residents Festival

Sponsored by First York and York BID

Celebrating its 22nd year, over ninety attractions, eateries and retailers will be on offer for York residents to help cheer up the January blues this month. York residents will once again have the chance to explore what’s on their doorstep free of charge, when the York Residents’ Festival, sponsored by First York and the York BID, takes place on Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 January. During the festival the city’s visitor attractions open up their doors free of charge so residents can turn tourist for the weekend. Since its inception twenty two years ago over 300,000 free visits have been taken up by York residents.

Organised by Make It York, the event is set to offer free entry to a host of York’s most celebrated attractions, one-off behind-the-scenes access to some of the city’s hidden gems, special events and some fantastic restaurant and retail deals.

More retailers are taking part this year too with a range of brilliant discounts. This annual event is organised as a thank you to York’s residents for the warm welcome they give to York’s 6.8 million global visitors each year. A children’s funfair in Parliament Street will offer free rides and Minster FM will be hosting their roadshow right across the weekend for loads of live entertainment from the area’s finest performance groups and entertainers. Don’t miss chances to win prizes, meet the Minster Monster, and take part in a special city center mannequin challenge complete with Vikings.

Children can also play bus drivers in a First York bus, conquer the Army Climbing wall and have their faces painted. The Make It York team will be based in Parliament Street, handing out festival brochures, balloons and generally helping residents make the most of the weekend.

First York will support the Resident’s Festival again this year and will have two buses positioned in Parliament Street over the weekend. Marc Bichtemann, Managing Director for First York, said, ‘We’re proud to be supporting York Resident’s Festival again and this year we will have staff on hand to share the fantastic job opportunities currently on offer. We will also be running an exciting giveaway and have a selection of special tickets to hand out over the weekend. We look forward to seeing you there!’ For advice on traveling by bus visit

Andrew Lowson, Director, York BID, said, ‘The BID is delighted to support this year’s festival and hope this will be the best York Residents Weekend yet. With so many features and deals offered, it will be a great draw for both residents and businesses. Attracting additional footfall and supporting businesses are important at this time of year and will address seasonality, ensuring 2017 gets off to a strong start.’

The festival is being promoted to thousands of students studying in the city too, who can take part with a valid York student ID card. New free additions for 2017 include the York Dungeon, where residents can celebrate 2,000 years of York’s history by taking a plunge into York’s murkiest past. Also on offer is one of the city’s hidden gems; the Fishergate Corner Tower on Grange Street. JORVIK’s sister attraction DIG will be offering free tours on the hour from 10am and ‘Little Diggers’ sessions will run throughout the weekend. The Bar Convent will also be showcasing 300 years of danger, bravery and history at England’s oldest living convent.

Residents and students will be able to explore some of York’s award-winning out of town attractions with free entry to Beningbrough Hall & Gardens, Castle Howard’s impressive grounds & parkland and Eden Camp Modern History Theme Museum in Malton. Or take a trip beneath the earth’s surface to Lost Earth Adventures in Nidderdale.

Organiser, Make It York, has also coordinated some brilliant shopping deals over the weekend. Retailers such as GAP and Jack Wolfskin for example will be offering an extra 20% off full price items and there’s 10% off food at Marks and Spencer. New to the festival, Bluebird Bakery on Little Shambles, will be giving away a delicious free brownie with every £5 purchase. All retail offers will be online at and look out for signage at retailers during the weekend.

Eateries new to the Residents’ Festival line up for 2017 are:

• Chapter House at The Principal York
• Garden Room at The Principal York
• The Refectory at The Principal York
• Cut and Chase
• Las Iguanas
• No.88 Walmgate
• Pairings Wine Bar
• Piccolino York
• The Red House Café
• The Bar Convent Living Heritage Centre
• The Blue Bell
• The Rattle Owl
• Turtle Bay
• Yorkshire Bar and Grill at Monkbar Hotel

Just some of the retail offers are:

• Bradley’s Jewellers – 15% off selected ranges
• Cycle Heaven Ltd – 10% off all cycles at all shops
• Fenwick - 10% on selected winter sale prices
• Give the Dog a Bone – 10% off throughout the store
• Leia Lingerie – 20% off full price items

Pre-booking is required for some of the attractions and guided tours and some venues have limited tickets available – the advice is to plan your visits carefully in advance. Full details are in the Festival brochure, free from the Visit York Information Centre at 1 Museum Street. Check the website for up to date offers or late entries

Residents must show a valid YorkCard or York Student ID Card to gain admission at each venue and for all shopping and restaurant offers, YorkCards are available from Explore York Libraries - check the nearest at YorkCards have a £5 admin charge for adults and are free for under 18’s. The YorkCard also entitles free or discounted entry to a range of leisure facilities and attractions in York throughout the year.


For further information please contact:

Kay Hyde – Head of PR and Communications – Make It York
Direct Line: 01904 554451
Mobile: 07506 048852

Cassie Meegan-Vickers – Senior Communications Executive – Make It York
Direct Line: 01904 554436

Notes to the Editor

Make It York
Make It York’s purpose is to develop and promote the city and its surroundings – nationally and internationally - as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work and do business. The company’s remit covers leisure and business tourism, city centre management, festivals and events, business support and inward investment.

Visit York is a part of Make It York and is the leisure tourism brand
Under the brand Visit York, Make It York’s aim is to market York as a must-see world-class destination to the leisure visitor and ensure investment to develop the quality of tourism in York.

Key tourism facts:
6.8 million visitors annually, £608 million total visitor spend, supporting 20,300 jobs