TOMORROW is a very special day for residents of York and North and East Yorkshire.
It is that time of year again to celebrate and relish all that is local. It is Yorkshire Day.
Yorkshire Day, first celebrated in 1975 by the Yorkshire Riding Society has become a festival of traditions associated with the county.
Every year, people come together to enjoy and embrace everything Yorkshire – and this year is no exception.
In fact, there is a massive variety of activities planned for tomorrow.
The Yorkshire Riding Society, as always, has a huge role to play. The organisation, which works to protect the integrity of Yorkshire, will be doing the customary.
“Declaration of Integrity” reading around the bar walls in York. The Declaration refers to the importance of everyone born in the different ridings of Yorkshire being all truly Yorkshire men and women and declares the people’s pride and passion for their origin.
Numerous restaurants around the city centre have been asked to dish out Yorkshire puddings and shops have been encouraged to create something unique for their window displays linked to the occasion.
At the Mansion House, the Yorkshire flag will be flying, while a special Sunday market will feature predominantly local produce.
The Stape Silver band, from Pickering, will entertain and perform in Parliament Street at 2pm.
A feature of Yorkshire is its wildlife, and the RSPB is joining in on the celebrations by offering free admission to anyone wearing a Yorkshire rose who visits one of its nature reserves at Bempton Cliffs, Blacktoft Sands, Fairburn Ings and Old Moor.
In the city centre tomorrow, a Yorkshire Day craft stall will give people the chance to make their very own white rose badge to wear in support of the occasion.
A survey was conducted by Visit York to celebrate the opening of its £900,000 Visitor Information Centre.
It revealed what people think about York across the UK and overseas. The classic Yorkshire pudding was named as the best thing to come out of York, followed by Yorkshire Tea and Wensleydale Cheese. Dame Judi Dench came out top as most popular person to come out of York. She was closely joined by the Bronte sisters, Captain James Cook and Michael Palin.
So why is it so special? Kersten England, chief executive of York City Council, said: “I've lived and worked in Yorkshire since 1990 and so would like to consider myself an honorary tyke. This great county is hugely diverse and has much to offer, from big city vibrancy to magnificent countryside, which I enjoy regularly, be it fell running in the Dales or cycling the Wolds. Most recently, of course, I’ve come to York and have been struck by the friendliness of this remarkable city and the great affection held for it by those who live, work and visit here.”
Gillian Cruddas, chief executive of Visit York, said: “Yorkshire is quite simply the most beautiful county in England. The Yorkshire Dales, the North York Moors and the Wolds are some of my favourite places to go walking and for the sea air you can’t beat exploring our region’s coastal footpaths.”
She went on: “Of course I love York; for its history, beautiful architecture and boutique shops and there’s always something going on be it the food and drink festival or superb theatre productions.”
York MP Hugh Bayley revealed how he will be celebrating Yorkshire Day. “I will be beside the river in the city I love and am so proud to have represented in Parliament for 18 years.
“York has given me and my family so much. I want to give back all I can to this wonderful place.”
The Archbishop of York wants everyone to embrace Yorkshire. “We have wonderful countryside, wonderful tourist attractions, and most of all, wonderful people! We should celebrate what we have in God’s own county.”