Yorkshire, the largest county in the UK, will host a number of spectacular events in the coming months, from major musical extravaganzas to world renowned sporting events, with many of the premier events being sponsored by the county’s tourism body, Welcome to Yorkshire.
As well as appealing to the local, this plethora of events is bound to enhance Yorkshire’s appeal to overseas visitors, whose numbers have grown significantly in the past two years, jumping 11 percent according to the just-published figures.
Highlights include one of the world’s oldest, richest and fastest horse racing events – the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival at York Races – which combines sporting excellence with fashion and fun over four fabulous days from 17th – 20th August. This year will be the first time the Festival has been title sponsored in its 167 year history.
The action on the track sees the richest race of the York year, the £650,000 Juddmonte International, a contest ranked in the top three contests in the world. Notably, Sea The Stars, owned by Chris Cheung of Hong Kong, triumphed as the highest rated horse in the world last season, arriving in York as a dual Classic winner and going on to triumph in the Arc, completing six Group One wins in a row.
Yorkshire’s other most famous racing event is the St Leger Festival, Doncaster Racecourse, which takes place from 8th – 11th September. The 2010 Ladbrokes St. Leger is the highlight of the year at Doncaster Racecourse and one of the most important festivals in British Racing. As well as top class racing, the Festival is also established as the most popular social gathering in South Yorkshire, continuing into the evening with events all across the town.
Music lovers have plenty to look forward, starting with a performance on Friday 23rd July by world famous tenor, Jose Carrera singing together with one of today’s most famous opera singers, Dame Kiri te Kanawa, who will perform at the inaugural concert in Scarborough’s open air theatre at Peasholm Park. Accompanied by the Opera North Orchestra with conductor David Gimenez the concert will culminate with a spectacular fireworks display.
Another famous soprano, Katherine Jenkins, will sing on the evening of Saturday 24th July in the gardens of beautiful Ripley Castle near Ripon. Joining her for this special event, ‘A Summers Evening’, is the National Symphony Orchestra. The stunning castle will provide the perfect backdrop to a very special concert of music, song and entertainment firework finale.
The music fest continues with The Great British Proms Spectacular at the beautiful stately home, Castle Howard, on 21st August, accompanied by the English National Orchestra.
Sharing a rotating line-up with Reading Festival, the northern leg of the August Bank Holiday weekender is annually blessed with a mammoth line-up that makes it one of the essential festivals of the calendar for rock fans. This year, Leeds Festival 2010 will be taken place on 27th – 29th August with all the most popular and up-and-coming alternative bands like Arcade Fire, The Libertines, LCD Soundsystem.
Over in Scarborough, the annual Jazz Festival (18th-20th September) has seen some of the world’s greatest British musicians over the years – the legendary Georgie Fame, Clare Teal, star pianist Julian Joseph and some of the world’s greatest jazz guitarists. Stan Tracey, Guy Barker and Bobbie Wellins will be this year’s highlight.
Food lovers are not forgotten in Yorkshire’s rich cultural calendar, with the Alfresco Parkland Autumn Food Festival at the glorious Swinton Park hotel and grounds. The event, on 12th September, offers a “grazing meal” made using local produce whilst enjoying a gentle stroll in the grounds via the deer park, woodlands and walled garden. Attractions include demonstrations by food producers, a Cookery Demonstration Theatre and a Gourmet Retail Marquee, along with wild food and walled garden tours throughout the day and flying demonstrations from the Bird of Prey Centre.
York Food and Drink Festival, held from 17th – 26th September has as its theme ‘Meet Yorkshire Food Heroes’ this year and offers open air markets and more than 100 demonstrations over the 10 day period.
Two outstanding literary festivals are held in Yorkshire; the first in Harrogate in July and the larger one in Ilkely (1st-7th October). The liveliest and most prestigious Literature Festival in the North of England, it sees over 180 events held over 17 days, including authors’ events, discussions, readings, performances, workshops, children’s and young people’s weekend, and much more.
Finally those with a taste for something more “other worldly” can enjoy two events in October; Fright Night Sheffield, Britain’s biggest Halloween party on 31st October, which attracts up to 40,000 people into Sheffield City Centre each year! Past attractions have included street theatre, ghost tours, fancy dress catwalk, funfair rides/stalls, food stalls and children’s activities.
Up on the North East coast, the pretty seaside town of Whitby hosts a Gothic Weekend from 28th-31st October (and also in April). This event has grown into one of the most popular gothic events in the world, attracting all generations from across the UK and around the world. Most of the events are held at the Whitby Pavilion including the Bizarre Bazaar Goth Market.In addition to the many cultural events in Yorkshire, visitors can also enjoy the wide open spaces of the beautiful Yorkshire Dales, the superb local food and drinks, no less than five Michelin starred restaurants and five “blue flag” beaches which class them among an elite group of British beaches that are passed with the highest quality in water, facilities, safety, environmental education and management – Whitby, Filey, Bridlington and Scarborough North Bay.
Source = Yorkshire