A BRIEF HISTORY OF OUR OFFICIAL YORKSHIRE DAY EVENT
Yorkshire Day was established relatively recently in 1975. The nature of the county 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 ‘in full costume and regalia’ was taken at a meeting of Local Authorities within the boundary of the old county of Yorkshire i.e. the three ridings and York and The Yorkshire Society at County Hall, Wakefield, on 29 June 1985.
The Yorkshire Society was then charged with guardianship of the idea and organising the annual event, which now forms the centrepiece and focal point for the celebrations undertaken across the whole county.
The ‘Official Yorkshire Day Civic Celebration’ now adds pomp and circumstance to a day of pride for a county which is like a nation within a nation: having its own flag, its own language, own anthem (almost) and its own culture. It is undoubtedly 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 council and Mayor of different towns and cities have had the honour of hosting it. Year on year it has evolved into an established format comprising breakfast reception and robing, thanks-giving service, street parade of all the dignitaries and guests and a formal lunch to finish.
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 and encouraging the participation of the general public with additional themed events. As such, the Official Yorkshire Day Civic Celebration is now a catalyst for the host town or city, providing an opportunity to focus the attention of Yorkshire (and beyond) onto it and its activities, and to connect it 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 council adding its coat of arms to the flag to record their year.
City of York Council will be the host of our Official Yorkshire Day Civic Celebration in 2021. For further enquiries or information about how you can get involved, please write to [email protected] with ‘Yorkshire Day’ in the subject line.
1985 York 2002 Filey
1986 Ripon 2003 Halifax
1987 Wakefield 2004 Leeds
1988 Wakefield 2005 Bradford
1989 Whitby 2006 Penistone
1990 Skipton 2007 Hull
1991 Rotherham 2008 Guisborough
1992 Richmond 2009 Malton
1993 Leeds 2010 Heddon
1994 Doncaster 2011 Wakefield
1995 Barnsley 2012 Scarborough
1996 Todmorden 2013 Skipton
1997 Bradford 2014 South Kirkby
1998 Huddersfield 2015 Doncaster
1999 Hull 2016 Halifax
2000 York 2017 Sheffield
2001 Wakefield 2018 Ripon
The 2020 official civic celebration was to be hosted by Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council. Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus pandemic, this has been cancelled. An online event will be organised instead.
Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council's civic celebration will take place in a future year to be decided.