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Cracking Easter Family Festival Planned for York – 25 – 28 March

Roll up, roll up! If it’s family fun you’re after this Easter, then look no further than York. There’ll be free children’s activities galore, co-ordinated by Make It York in association with Little Vikings, JORVIK, York Food Festival, York’s Chocolate Story, York Cocoa House and Lunchbox Theatrical Productions. Watch a chocolate demo, have your face painted, create an Easter egg, unleash your artistic side or get active; there’ll be plenty to do.

The city’s tourism chiefs are promising more reasons to visit York this Easter than ever before as Make It York announces a new family friendly Easter Festival for the Bank Holiday weekend. Vintage fairground attractions, from Lunchbox Theatrical Productions, will be offering fun for children at St Sampson’s Square, offering old favourites such as Hook a Duck and Muffin the Mule. Street food suppliers will be selling tasty treats all along Parliament Street and there’ll be fun games and entertainment throughout the weekend.

York’s Chocolate Festival will be returning as part of the Easter celebrations too with a chocolate market and demonstration marquee on Parliament Street. Officially celebrated as Britain’s home of chocolate the very first festival ran in 2012 and York’s very own sweet visitor attraction York’s Cholate Story opened.

Kate McMullen, Head of Tourism, Make It York, said, ‘There is no better place to celebrate and immerse yourself in the culture and history of chocolate this Easter than York. The city has a rich chocolate heritage and while other northern centres made their wealth from wool, cotton and steel - York developed its own unique chocolate industry. This great tradition continues to this day, where all over the city there are echoes of York's chocolate past. We hope visitors will enjoy our new Easter programme.’

Keeping the little ones entertained in the Activity Tent throughout the weekend will be events and activities handpicked by the award-winning magazine and website Little Vikings. Four days of free activities will showcase some of the best things in York for children. There will be expert taster sessions from top dance and drama academies, children’s rugby (definitely not just for boys), kids’ yoga adventures, storytelling, forest school with a twist, arts and crafts and more. There’s no need to book, just drop in and join in.

The JORVIK group will also be on hand with Viking activities and York’s Chocolate Story will have chocolatey games to get involved in. Children can also create their own Easter egg design to be in with a chance to win £100 to spend in the Fenwick toy department.

Polly Bennett, Editor and Founder of Little Vikings said, ‘York is brimming with fantastic things to do for children. We’re delighted to partner with Make It York on this brand new festival and it has been a pleasure to put together the programme. Easter is a great time for families to enjoy time together and we hope this new festival will be a huge hit over the Bank Holiday Weekend. ’

Also making an appearance in the Activity Tent will be that infamous naughty couple Punch and Judy and face painting will add more entertainment too. For the grown-ups keen on cooking up a delicious Sunday Roast, York Farmers’ Market will return to the Shambles on Good Friday. Sunday will see the Shambles market transformed into all things vintage and biking enthusiasts should love the display of vintage lambrettas, motorbikes, a vintage VW camper and jeep. And adding to the vintage theme there’ll be songs from Gina Rose singing four sets throughout the day. Stalls will include vintage china, vinyl, furniture, clothing, cupcakes as well as recycled clothing.

All activities run from 25-28 March except the funfair which will run for two weeks from 25 March – 11 April.



For further information please contact:

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

Katie Parsons – Senior Communications Executive – Make It York
Direct Line: 01904 554436

Notes to Editors:

Little Vikings

Little Vikings is an online and print magazine run by a York family living just outside the city walls. The writing, design, research, marketing…’s all run from the spare room in their spare time. Polly Bennett, from Bishopthorpe Road area in York grew up in the city and is now raising her own young family here. Polly set up Little Vikings to help offer a way to find out exactly what is going on in the city for families. The Little Vikings website was launched in 2013 and, after a great reception, it was taken into print in 2014. The free, bi-monthly magazine reaches over 15,000 families in each issue and is thoughtfully distributed to a key audience: parents and carers of 0-11 year olds living in and visiting York. It’s also available to read online for free.

Penny said, ‘We’re delighted with how the magazine has been received, especially considering we have no publishing experience. Being highly commended in the O2 Media Awards 2015 (the ‘Oscars of regional journalism’, apparently) in two categories – Specialist Publication of the Year and Team of the Year – is the icing on the cake.’

Make It York (York’s Destination Organisation) has an overarching remit to market the city and its surroundings – nationally and internationally - as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work and do business. The 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

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