The bill for year-long celebration is likely to top £10 million - some of which could end up being paid by the city council. So would it be public money well spent? Andy Bevan has this special report.
If November in Leicester started with a bang, it could end with an explosion of celebration or go out like a soggy sparkler.
The announcement of the next UK City of Culture will be made early on Wednesday morning - on live TV, watched back home by four cities, each vying for the chance to show the country and the world that they are the place to be in 2017.
Leicester's final bid was sent on its way by local band Kasabian at the end of September, - it's certain to big up the city's multi-cultural mix, its annual carnivals and festivals, and its arts and entertainment venues.
But being a City of Culture doesn't come cheap.
Estimates put the cost of staging a year of events at between £10 and 12 million.
The City Council will try to raise that money from private investment and sponsorship - but they've pledged to make up any shortfall from public funds.
Geoff Rowe from the Leicester Culture Partnership Board:
The rate of return on that £10 million is already being estimated at between for and eight times the amount that's put in. So if you think of it in those terms as part of a regeneration of a city like Leicester it's fundamental and it's really important that investment continues.
Financial returns for this year's title-holder, Northern Ireland's Derry-Londonderry aren't in yet as events there are still under way - but Liverpool, which was European Capital of Culture in 2008 totted up an estimated 800 million pounds in economic benefits - especially in leisure and tourism.
But Leicester's economy isn't about occasional visitors to hotels, restaurants and theatres. Most businesses here rely on regular, local customers.
Thirty-three-year-old Alex Salter set up this grooming salon three and a half years ago. He's ploughed profits back into the premises and it now operates on four floors, with hairdressing for men and women, beauty treatments and a tattoo studio.
Alex says a win could prompt him to expand his business but says the city council needs to look beyond 2017.
It needs to be something that has longevity. It's hopefully going to create opportunities for jobs and for people around here and it can't be a here today, gone tomorrow kind of thing.
Half a mile from that city centre salon though, some Leicester folk are less than enthusiastic about becoming a City of Culture.
This is the St Matthew's Estate, one of the most socially deprived areas in the country.
Some residents we spoke to here hadn't even heard about the bid and those that have say the council's underwriting of £10-£12 million for a year-long jamboree could be far better allocated.
Jobs are being cut, the bedroom tax has come in. They're looking around for food, the estate is nearly 60 years old.
We need the money there to improve things for the people of Leicester - kids, the future basically - than having that money spent on other stuff.
Some in the city some argue that, culturally, even multi-culturally, Leicester has got too much going for it to win - and the prize will be awarded to one of its three rivals which may benefit more.
In Scotland, Dundee's Contemporary Arts centre will join a brand new V and A design centre on the waterfront to consolidate its bid.
Hull's annual Freedom Festival is at the centre of its plans coupled with attractions like the Maritime Museum and the Deep aquarium.
And Swansea Bay's campaign includes events in the newly-restored Hafod Copperworks, plus a scheme to re-introduce the Mumbles Train.
The discovery of the remains of King Richard III under a council car park has already given Leicester a taste of national and international attention - and you could say the city sees him as something of a crowning glory to its bid. But, is it enough?
What we've seen with Richard III is a significant increase in hotel occupancy but also the profile of Leicester right across the world. City of Culture will be a vehicle for us to raise that profile even further.
We'll find out the day after tomorrow if Leicester is to be UK City of Culture in 2017 but even if it wins, it could be many more years until we find out whether its legacy lived on or became as forgotten as its medieval monarch.