Happy Yorkshire Day - Father and son celebrate the day at Kirkgate Market, Leeds, sporting traditional flat caps
Happy Yorkshire Day - Father and son celebrate the day at Kirkgate Market, Leeds, sporting traditional flat caps

Happy Yorkshire Day

It is time to celebrate all that is great about our county. Even if you are not involved in the official ceremonies, there are ways you can mark our special day.

By Sally Todd
Wednesday, 20th July 2022, 9:01 am
Updated Wednesday, 20th July 2022, 9:43 am

Yorkshire Day was established relatively recently in 1975. The nature of the region and its people meant it was quickly adopted and it has grown in significance year on year.

The decision to mark Yorkshire Day with an annual civic gathering of mayors, lord mayors, their attendants and other dignitaries "infull costume and regalia" was taken at a meeting of local authorities within the boundary of the old county of Yorkshire - the three ridings, York and Yorkshire Society - at County Hall, Wakefield, on June 29 1985.

The Yorkshire Society was then charged with the guardianship of the idea and organising the annual event, which now forms the centrepiece and focal point for the celebrations undertaken across the whole region.The "Official Yorkshire Day Civic Celebration" now adds pomp and circumstance to a day of pride for a region that is like a nation within a nation, having its own flag, language, anthem (almost!) and culture.

It is probably the biggest gathering of first citizens and civic leaders in the UK and probably one of the biggest in the world.The first Yorkshire Day Civic Celebration in 1985 was held in York. Since then the councils and mayors of different towns and cities have had the honour of hosting it.

From 2018, when The Yorkshire Society itself began a modernisation, the event has evolved further with the last two hosts - Ripon City Council and Whitby Town Council - expanding it into the community, encouraging the participation of the general public with additional themed elements.

As such, Official Yorkshire Day Civic Celebration is now a catalyst for the host town or city, providing an opportunity to boost the local economy, capture the attention of the world and connect with its citizens.

The host town or city has the honour and prestige of being the official Yorkshire Day town or city for a full calendar year. This is marked with the handing over of the Yorkshire Day flag from council to council on the day, each authority adding its coat of arms to the flag to record its year.This year’s hosts are Keighley.

Those fortunate enough to be invited will enjoy breakfast on a steam train journey on Keighley & Worth Valley Railway to Keighley Station, from where the flags and public will be out to see the traditional parade of Yorkshire’s lord mayors, mayors, VIPs and The Yorkshire Society members to Keighley Shared Church, where a thanksgiving service will be held.Transport will be provided to take everyone from the church to East Riddlesden Hall, a National Trust property, for formal civic lunch,speeches and appropriate entertainment.

The date alludes to the regimental anniversary of the Battle of Minden on August 1 and the wearing of roses in the headdress on that day. In the case of the Light Infantry, successors to the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, a white rose.

If you are not involved in the pomp and pageantry you can still celebrate by …

Visiting one of our local heritage sites. Learn about Yorkshire's history at one of our fantastic heritage areas.

There is so much to discover. Everything from one of our great family homes including Lotherton, Temple Newsam and Nostell to monuments such as Kirkstall Abbey, Bolton Abbey, Fountains Abbey and Whitby Abbey.

These are sites where you can experience times past.These include Leeds Industrial Museum, York's National Railway Museum, Wakefield's National Coal Mining Museum, as well as natural sites including Mother Shipton’s Cave, Knaresborough, and Brimham Rocks, near Harrogate.

A trip to the seaside. You could visit many stunning beaches around Yorkshire including Scarborough, Bridlington, Whitby and Filey.

Embark on a walk. The Bolton Abbey Welly Walk features a fun walk for youngsters, including tree climbing, tunnels, slides, bridges and beams.

Or..Celebrate with a roast complete, of course, with Yorkshire pudding!

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