Yorkshire Festival programme announced

A cultural festival to mark the lead up to this year's Tour de France is taking place across Yorkshire and the programme has been released.

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Kimberley Walsh: "Only natural to get involved and help celebrate the county I love"

Bradford singer Kimberley Walsh has been reacting to the news that she is to feature in a special song to mark Yorkshire's Grand Départ in July.

"The Grand Départ coming to Yorkshire for the first time ever is an historic moment and whether you love cycling or not, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. To work with Alistair on the official anthem for the Grand Départ is exciting – it’s an emotional, rousing track that people can sing along to."

– Kimberley Walsh

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Kimberly Walsh on Le Tour single video shoot

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Excited to be featuring on alistairgriffin single #The Road -official song for Le Grand Depart of the… http://t.co/G94iyVhEeN

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Not so much of a "hint of a bump" from the side ?. Lots of close ups in this video I think ha ?#TheRoad #TourDeFrance http://t.co/Hwm7dUlBfH

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Cyclists to pull grand piano up six mile hill

Yorkshire Festival 2014

One of the Yorkshire Festival's more unusual events kicks off at midday today in Mytholmroyd.

A team of cyclists will pull a grand piano six miles up the longest continuous ascent in England, Cragg Vale.

To pull the piano, riders will use a PianoPorté, an invention by sculptor Andy Plant which includes a 2CV gearbox . As the ensemble makes its way upwards, local and international pianists will play a specially commissioned musical cycle.

The event, aptly named Grand Departs, is an official part of the Yorkshire Festival 2014 - the first ever cultural festival to precede the Grand Départ of the Tour de France.

100-day cultural extravaganza begins in Yorkshire

100 days until Yorkshire welcomes cyclists from across the globe Credit: Welcome to Yorkshire

The big countdown to the Grand Départ of the Tour de France in Yorkshire begins today, with cultural events taking place across the county.

For the next 100 days, The Yorkshire Festival will feature lots of unusual exhibitions, events and performances, from a group of riders pulling a grand piano up Cragg Vale, to a dance-theatre adaptation of the celebrated Yorkshire story, Kes.

Another highlight is expected to be the world’s first Ghost Peloton, which will see a team of around 50 cyclists and a collection of dancers use remote-controlled light suits to produce an evening light show outside The Tetley, in Leeds.

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Ten thousand 2 pence pieces sought for sculpture

Artist's impression of the sculpture Credit: Craig Dyson

Yorkshire folk are being asked for their help (and a small amount of money) for an ambitious public sculpture project.

Haworth-based sculptor Craig Dyson has launched an appeal for 10,000 2 pence pieces to create the sculpture, which he aims to complete and install in the village ready for the arrival of Tour de France in July.

A smaller version of what the sculpture will look like Credit: Craig Dyson

Craig plans to weld the coins into a two metre-diameter sphere containing a figure representing triumph over adversity, the interior being lit at night using solar power.

He's obtained confirmation from HM Treasury that he can use the coins, but he needs the right ones - Post-1992 coins made of copper-plated steel.

Boxes to collect coins will be placed around Haworth but coins can be taken or posted directly to Craig's workshop at Railside Studios, Belle Isle Road, Haworth.

Click here to visit Craig's fundraising site

'Le Grand Depart': Verity's vision

It's four months until one of the world's biggest sporting events takes place here in our region and preparations are now well underway for the Grand Depart - the start of the prestigious Tour de France cycling race in Yorkshire on July the fifth.

The idea was initially the vision of just one man, Welcome to Yorkshire Chief executive, Gary Verity. Against the odds - and up against competition from cities like Barcelona and Amsterdam - he and his team went onto achieve what many thought could never happen.

Christine Talbot met him at his home in the Dales, to find out how they turned a dream into reality.

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