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Mayor calls on locals to embrace annual Yorkshire Day celebrations

The celebration will see a procession of mayors move their way through Ripon, whilst other areas of Yorkshire host their own events.

Ripon Cathedral (Lynne Cameron/PA)
Ripon Cathedral (Lynne Cameron/PA)

The mayor of Ripon has called on visitors to “enjoy everything Yorkshire has to offer” as she prepares to host dignitaries from around the UK’s largest county to celebrate Yorkshire Day.

Pauline McHardy said the event on Wednesday presents the perfect opportunity for locals to “come together and celebrate where they come from”.

The annual celebration, being held for the 43rd year, will see a snaking procession of mayors and lord mayors move through the county’s smallest city.

It is expected that a large crowd will see the parade conclude outside Ripon Cathedral, which dates back to the seventh century and will be the venue for a commemorative festival service.

In the evening, live music will take place in the city’s market square, followed by a special version of the Ripon hornblowing ceremony, a centuries-old tradition which has taken place every night since 886.

Asked about the scepticism Yorkshire Day can attract from outside the county, Ms McHardy said: “To anybody who doesn’t understand what the day is all about, I’d say, ‘come, take it all in and enjoy everything that Yorkshire has to offer’.

“It’s the country’s biggest county, it’s absolutely beautiful and has plenty going on. I’d say that’s more than enough to be worth celebrating.”

The event was first celebrated in 1975 by the Yorkshire Ridings Society, formed a year earlier to protest against the local government reorganisation of the county’s traditional borders.

It is always held on August 1, a date that alludes to the Battle of Minden in Germany in 1759, which saw the Army allow soldiers to wear roses in their caps.

Among the annual festivities is the reading of the Yorkshire Declaration of Integrity in York, in all the languages used in Yorkshire since its earliest known reference in Anglo-Saxon times, including Old English, Latin, Old Norse and modern English.

On Wednesday, the York Maze will play host to its annual Yorkshire pudding tossing competition, while the Yorkshire Open Hat Throwing Championships will be contested at Leeds Industrial Museum.

At Kirkgate Market in Leeds, organisers are hoping to break the world record for the most people wearing flat caps at a single event.

Lotherton Hall, a country estate east of Leeds, will be the setting for the revival of the Josh wedding tradition, which sees two miners dressed as a bride and groom take part in a music hall-style marriage to raise money for injured colleagues.

Otley’s 21 pubs will be temporarily renamed to celebrate some of the county’s most famous faces, allowing drinkers to enjoy a pint at The Dame Judi Dench, The Alan Bennett and The Hannah Cockroft, among others.

The day coincides with the start of fundraiser Ben Davis’s mission to run the perimeter of Yorkshire in a bid to raise £15,000 for the Campaign Against Living Miserably (Calm) charity.

He will run more than 450 miles and take in 41,000ft of elevation, and hopes to complete it in 18 days.



From Belfast Telegraph