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29/01/2014 - Craven events are part of Yorkshire Festival 2014

The Tour de France's Cultural Festival - now called Yorkshire Festival 2014 - will feature Craven's festivals, events and artists.

The Yorkshire Festival lasts for 100 days - from 27 March to 6 July - and is backed by the Arts Council England, Yorkshire Water, Welcome to Yorkshire, and local authorities in Yorkshire.

The festival's official programme will include North Yorkshire Open Studios, the Tour of Infinite Possibilities and Carnival Bentham by Bike. "This is very good news for Craven. These cultural activities will not only draw communities and artists together to celebrate the Grand Départ in Yorkshire, they will also leave a legacy for artists, participants and audiences," says Councillor Simon Myers, Lead Member for the Tour de France in Craven District Council.

Carnival Bentham by Bike on Saturday 31 May 2014, will be a celebration of the Tour de France in Yorkshire with a 3.5 kilometres bike ride, the unveiling of new public artwork The Queen's Bloomers, live music, dance, street theatre and joining the carnival procession. In preparation for the big day, family workshops will take place at the Looking Well, King St., High Bentham from Monday 24th to Friday 30 May.

Alison Clough of Pioneer Projects in Bentham, one of the organisers of the Carnival Bentham by Bike, says: "It will be a fantastic celebration on the day and create a great legacy for Bentham. We are planning a celebratory bike ride for all the family taking in High and Low Bentham and part of the Way of the Roses cycle way. It will be signposted by a fat sheep on a bicycle, based on a design by Marjan Wouda in recognition of the town's history of sheep sales. Cyclists will also pass another of Marjan's creations on the route, the 'Queens Bloomers' in Low Bentham."

The Tour of Infinite Possibilities is a musical celebration of the Tour de France in Yorkshire, managed by Grassington Festival and arts organisation Hope and Social from Leeds. Building on last year's successful Band that Anyone Can Join, Hope and Social have composed a Yorkshire Festival song, downloadable from the Festival website.

The annual North Yorkshire Open Studios, which takes place on June 7-8 and 14-15 this year, features many Craven-based professional artists. Information about this event can be found on:

During the Yorkshire Festival 2014, Craven Museum and Gallery will lend its Shakespeare First Folio to the City of York to be put on display in the city. Printed in 1623, the First Folio is a rare compilation of 36 of Shakepeare's plays. No more than 750 copies were printed and today only about 230 survive, with less than 50 in the British Isles and only a few on display. It is thought of as the most important book in English literature.

Fringe programme

Alongside the commissioned elements of the Yorkshire Festival 2014, there will be a fringe programme. Arts/cultural events open to the public and taking place between 27 March and 6 July 2014 in Yorkshire can be included. The fringe programme already features the Autoharp Festival in Gargrave and the Kettlewell Festival of Wool and Ale. If you have an arts-based event you'd like to promote, simply sign up via:

Craven District Council has also updated its Event Management guidance on the Craven Events website where there are helpful downloadable guidance notes and templates. If you do not have access to the internet, a hard copy is available from the Arts Development Officer on 01756 706408.