Guide to the Fête du Tour weekend activities in York

Sporting some of the York merchandise now on sale are Councillor Sonja Crisp, cabinet member for leisure and Danielle Bellerby and David Wells from the council's Tour de France team. Photograph: City of York Council
29 May 2014 @ 11.00 am
| Entertainment

It may have escaped your notice, but a certain bicycle race is heading to York this summer.

And this weekend Yorkshire is going yellow as part of the build up to the county hosting the Grand Départ of the Tour de France in July.

Called the Fête du Tour, the weekend of celebrations is based on the French tradition of thinking creatively about cycling and the colour yellow.

Many of the events are linked to fundraising for Marie Curie Cancer Care, the official charity of the Grand Départ.

On Friday (May 30), City of York Council staff will be wearing yellow, or something French. So if your query about your bins is dealt with by someone in a beret with a string of onions round their neck, you’ll know why.

So what else is on?

Yellow milestones

Sunny signs… Photograph: York Bike Belles
Sunny signs… Photograph: York Bike Belles
York Bike Belles, the new group set up to encourage more women into the saddle, is teaming up with cycling charity Sustrans to transform York’s National Cycle Network mileposts with yellow paint.

They have already decorated the one near Skelton – see above. As part of a painting and pedalling tour, the Belles will decorate two more yellow and one white with red spots – to represent the King of the Mountain winner’s jersey.

It all kicks off at 10.30am on Sunday, June 1, starting outside York Minster. Paint supplied, but you’d be best to wear some old clothes.

All women riders are welcome along: just head to the Facebook event page and click ‘attending’, or email [email protected].

Food, drink and beer

Mike on a bike
Mike on a bike

Marie Curie Power Peloton rider Mike Hughes from York has lined up some events for the Fête du Tour.

Mike is hosting a Love to Eat fundraiser on Saturday, 31 May as well as a Fête du Tour York Pub Trail starting at 12pm at Your Bike Shed on Micklegate.

Later that evening, Mike’s throwing a Fête du Tour BBQ at Forest Farm, Selby Road in York from 4pm to 7pm with a tombola, fun and games.

The £15 tickets – under 16s go free – includes food and drinks all supported by local businesses. To donate to this fundraising feat, email [email protected], visit his Just Giving page or text MJDH64 (£amount) to 70070.

Other events

One of the photographs of France by Paul Telford
One of the photographs of France by Paul Telford

York city centre will have lots of French, cycling and yellow-themed activities on Saturday from 10am to 4pm.

Members of Riding Lights Theatre will be performing on a rotating stage, powered by bikes, whilst dressed in French costume and accompanied by an organist.

Visitors can also pose as Sir Bradley Wiggins with the help of a cut out and mask, and yellow balloons will be handed out.

The Made In Yorkshire market running from Thursday, May 29 to Sunday, June 1 will host a Tour de France information point. Also on sale is very yellow merchandise.

There’s an arty side of the tour to take in too.

Paul Telford’s exhibition of French landscape photography at Friargate Theatre forms part of Riding Lights Theatre Company’s French FRIes.

And one of the new exhibitions at the York Quilt Museum are quilts made by volunteers inspired by the tour.