A HUGE festival involving hundreds of young people will be taking over Ryedale this summer.

The month-long Celebration of Youth will see workshops, training sessions and activities for young people aged eight and over, said Coun Natalie Warriner, former mayor of Pickering.

Coun Warriner is one of the key movers behind the festival, working jointly with Ryedale Child and Youth Projects to bring events from July 12 to August 10.

It has been planned in the wake of events including a dry pub scheme and teen discos. Police said the events had been hugely successful in involving disaffected and bored teenagers, resulting in a dramatic drop in youth crime in the market town.

About 2,000 young people are expected to be involved in the festival, which is costing £18,000 to stage.

"We are trying to bring out the positive side of young people," said Coun Warriner.

"There will be something for everyone in the festival, whatever their interests.

"Our aim is to see them continue to be involved in them after the festival ends."

Workshops in circus skills, orienteering, fashion shows, banner-making, relief printing, balloon and kite making and photography are all planned.

Activities are also planned further afield for Kirkbymoorside, Norton, Appleton-le-Moors, Thornton-le-Dale, Sheriff Hutton and Ebberston, with outdoor pursuits like kayaking, rope work and climbing, orienteering and archery.

Young people will need to register for the activities on Friday, June 27, between 4pm and 6pm, and on Saturday, June 28, between 10 am and noon at the Memorial Hall.

Each course will cost 50p.

Coun Warriner said: "We believe the festival will cater for all young people whatever their skills and interests."

Updated: 11:36 Monday, May 19, 2003