AN edible jockey and a grass paddock inside a department store are just two of the ways the city plans to welcome visitors for the highlight of its racing season.

It is expected about 90,000 people will descend on York for the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor meeting which starts today.

Eighty chefs will be employed at the racecourse over the four day meeting, but their courses are set to be trumped by Edible York, who have designed a haute couture dress complete with an accompanying jockey.

The dress is made entirely from fruit and vegetables, and features a skirt made from savoy and red cabbages, festooned with growing herbs and edible flowers, which were grown especially for the dress by Yorkshire producer Alison Dodd from Herbs Unlimited. The outfit is completed by a Yorkshire pudding hat and handbag.

Nick Fazackerley, of York Racecourse Hospitality, said: “Over the past few years, we have commissioned a sculpture for the biggest week of the year.

"York Racecourse is renowned for a commitment to local farmers and producers, we proudly serve the best of what the county makes, rears and harvests.”

Races begin in earnest on Wednesday with the Juddmonte International, a prestigious middle distance race.

This is followed by Darley Yorkshire Oaks and Ladies Day on Thursday, Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes on Friday, before rounding off the weekend with Betfred Ebor Day, featuring the Betfred Ebor race, which is still considered the racecourse's most famous competition.

Ladies on the look out for some last minute heels for their race day outfit will be able to test their purchases at the city's Debenhams.

A shoe testing grass paddock has been set up inside the Davygate store to give shoppers the chance to get a feel for them before Thursday's Ladies Day.

The Met Office is forecasting the weather to be sunny spells tomorrow and Saturday, but the skies are set to darken on Thursday and Friday as rain is expected, temperatures will not climb above 16 degrees throughout the event.