THERE is still a chance to join in the festivities as hundreds of York pensioners enjoy the Lord Mayor’s Christmas Cheer functions which start next week.

As part of the York 800 celebrations, Coun Keith Hyman has invited 800 older residents to four separate receptions in the Assembly Rooms in Blake Street on Monday and on Monday, December 3.

There are still some free tickets available for the December 3 events at 10am to 2pm, which over-65s in York are invited to pick up from the Guildhall reception.

Guests will be treated to entertainment from choirs and will also be offered sandwiches, mince pies and tea or coffee.

Anne Platt, civic service co-ordinator at the Mansion House, said: “We had some fantastic, generous donations and a great response to people offering raffle prizes.

“We are really looking forward to having lots of festive fun.

“The gentlemen of the York Philharmonic Male Voice Choir have been practising their carols to entertain us.”

She said raffle prizes, for which every guest would be given a free ticket, included shopping vouchers, meals out and books.

Numerous York businesses have donated £500 each to help fund the Christmas Cheer events, including shoe company Pavers, TSYS, Benenden, Santander, the Yorkshire Building Society and the Shepherd Group.

Tesco Extra Askham Bar has agreed to provide 800 mince pies and 800 Christmas crackers.

The Christmas Cheer meals are held every year for elderly residents, but usually on a smaller scale.

York 800 is a celebration of the 800th anniversary of the city being granted a Royal Charter by King John in 1212, which allowed citizens to collect and pay their annual tax to the Crown, hold their own courts and appoint a mayor, as well as trade freely, and signalled the start of local democracy in the city.