July 2012

July is going to be a very special month for York because the 9th July 2012 marks 800 years since York first became a self governing city.

There will be lots of celebrations taking place throughout July and more details will be added to this section shortly.


York Festival of the Rivers

York Festival of Rivers is taking place 7th July- 22nd July 2012. It begins on Charter Weekend when York celebrates the 800th anniversary of being a self - governing city and is part of the York’s year long festival season. The City’s rivers will take pride of place in the seventh annual celebration of the rivers. There will many activities for all the family to learn about the City’s rivers the Ouse and Foss. The main event of the festival is the Flotilla taking place on the 7th July which promises to have the most amount of boats on the river at any one time. If you own a vessel and would like to take part please see the website for more details 

Dragon Boat Racing

The York Rotary Dragon Boat Challenge will take place for the tenth year running on Sunday 8th July and be part of the York 800 celebrations, as well as being part of the York Festival of Rivers.  The course is a 250 metre stretch of the river Ouse between Scarborough and Lendal Bridge. The racing teams will assemble on the south bank of the river and there will be a gala day atmosphere on the north bank, where there will be a variety of stalls and people can gather to watch the racing and cheer on the teams.  There will be a maximum of 36 teams, each team has sixteen paddlers and a drummer, each team will take place in three races. Watch out for the colourful boats as it is a requirement that all boats and crews distinguish themselves from the other teams. As it is part of the York 800 celebrations teams will be wearing outfits around the theme of the City’s history and the best one will win the Ged Bell trophy.  Please see the website for more details




Ebor Vox

Ebor Vox is a huge community event taking place over Charter Weekend 7th July – 9th July, where many people from around the city will come together to sing in a big community choir, performing on the river Ouse and at the Eye of York to celebrate 800 years of York being a self-governing city.  The choir will sing a new piece that has been composed by Benjamin Till, who in 2010 composed the symphony for Yorkshire and has composed this new piece from a poem written by Gary Toal, a local man who won a competition to have his poem written into the choral music which will be performed in the climax at the eye of York on 9th July. As well as this, there will be choirs popping up all around the City over the weekend as well as choirs and individuals singing during the York Festival of rivers on Saturday 7th July around the river Ouse. Please see website for further details 

Big City Read


Big city read is taking place 25th July 2012 and this year as part of the York 800 events the book which will be read is ‘Mystery in the Minster’ by Susanna Gregory which is a murder mystery set in York. Everyone is encouraged to read the book and then there will be activities and events based on the book organised by the York library and the archives. There will be author events, storytelling for children, taster sessions, local history talks and walking tours around the city. There is a full list of events at York Explore and you can book your tickets there as well. Starting on the 25th July there will be 500 free copies of the book to give away which has been especially commissioned as part of the celebrations.

For more details please see the library website


York early music festival July 2012

This is a festival taking place 6th -14th July 2012, titled ‘Crossing Borders’ celebrating the best of the early music specialists from Europe and South America. It is even more special this year as it is a summer of festivals in Britain and especially in York as we celebrate York 800, 1212 being the year that York was granted self-governing status by King John.

There will be many different styles of early music being heard around the City during this time, there will be choirs of all ages from around the City and around the world.  As well as choirs there will also be orchestras and ensembles performing around the city.

 Whether you are a regular listener to early music or trying to get your friends interested or just thought you would try something new this summer then why not seek out this festival and hear what promises to be some amazing music.


For more details please see the website: