A WHOLE day’s festival for Yorkshire Day in York is to be held in Parliament Street on August 1, with family fun from 11am to 4pm and The Lord Mayor’s Secret Ball & Chain, a combination of music and comedy for an adult audience, from 5pm to 11pm.

The idea sprang from a conversation last year between Councillor Dave Taylor, now Lord Mayor of York, and Martin Witts, organiser of the Great Yorkshire Fringe.

Cllr Taylor explains: “This summer's Great Yorkshire Fringe was to run from July 15 to 31, but Martin has kindly offered me the use of his White Rose Rotunda, the huge, exquisite and historic 1890s’ Spiegeltent, to programme acts for the whole of August 1 as a fundraiser for the Lord Mayor’s charities.”

York Press:

York blues singer Jess Gardham, on the bill for the Lord Mayor's Secret Ball & Chain

The daytime Yorkshire Day Festival will feature some of the best children’s entertainers in the performing arts, such as Le Petit Artiste; Ukelele Sunshine Revival; Ukathon; Professor Fiddlesticks; Thea Jacob; Dragon And The Crocodile; Paula Ryan and Vinnie and The Stars.

There will be a Yorkshire’s Got Talent show too, plus Enchanted Parties York offering the chance to meet the characters from Frozen.

“The evening will take a more adult theme as The Lord Mayor’s Secret Ball gets underway with live music, improvisational comedy, saucy drag acts and a few surprise acts you won't want to miss," says Cllr Taylor.

On the bill will be Sarah Woods; Burn The Breeze; Bad Saloon Blues; Shona Clayton; Tribal; The Taskers; Ruby Tuesdays showcase; blues singer Jess Gardham; James Massie as Queen Buffay and the improv comedy troupe The Improbables. Entry will be restricted to 18 plus.

York Press:

David Hardcastle's artwork for the original Secret Policeman's Ball

Martin Witts engaged David Hardcastle, a member of his staff at the Leicester Square Theatre in London, to draw a caricature of the Lord Mayor, based on his iconic 1979 cartoon for The Secret Policeman’s Ball. Hardcastle morphed his policeman into York’s Lord Mayor, replete with civic chains and a tricorn hat with two holes cut to reveal Cllr Taylor’s trademark spiked hair poking through.

Tickets are available from B.O.B., the Great Yorkshire Fringe box office bus, in Parliament Street, or online at greatyorkshirefringe.com