York 800: Your guide to the city’s charter party

6 Jul 2012 @ 6.27 am
| Entertainment
Are you ready for the celebrations?

There are 800 reasons to celebrate York’s history and this weekend the city is going to party like it’s 1212.

King John granted York its Royal Charter on July 9 in that year so this has been declared Charter Weekend, with all manner of feasts, fetes and general fun ready to begin.

By recent standards, the weather forecast looks positively sub-Saharan, with only scattered showers and even some sunny spells predicted.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough to save the planned flotilla, called off owing to flood concerns. But there’s still plenty to do.

So, what’s going on where? Here’s the YorkMix guide to the charter party. Click on the locations for maps.

Surprise songs

When: 2pm-5pm
Where: York city centre

You might be buying a pound of oranges, or sipping a mochachino, minding your own business. Then suddenly your fellow shoppers or sippers will burst into song. Don’t panic or call the authorities. They are the Ebor Vox flash choirs, trained to warble without warning as part of the celebrations.

 

Free music festival

When: 10.30am-11.45pm
Where: Parliament Street

And the bands played on… The York 800 Mor Music Festival will provide live music from the likes of David Ward Maclean, The Buccaneers and Littlemores. In aid of Help For Heroes.

 

Meet the king

When: 11am-5pm. Also Sunday
Where: Clifford’s Tower

For one weekend only, he’s back. King John is not likely top any Monarch of the Millennium polls, but he did the right thing for York by granting our independence 800 years ago. So he’s making a rare personal appearance courtesy of English Heritage at Clifford’s Tower. Try on his crown for size.

 

Minster marvels

When: 2.30pm
Where: York Minster

The 8 Wonders of York Minster guided tour investigates how the number eight has shaped York Minster through technology and design, from 1212 to 2012. Hidden stories reveal how the number has shaped York Minster’s past, but is also shaping its future. From the world’s greatest treasures to the smallest hidden curiosities.

 

Sunday July 8

There be dragons

When: 10am-4pm – CANCELLED
Where: Between Scarborough Bridge and Lendal Bridge, River Ouse

Unfortunately due to the weather and abnormally high river levels, this event has been cancelled.

The tenth annual Dragon Boat Race, organised by York Rotary Club, has become a much enjoyed summer tradition. Teams from various clubs, organisations and companies will go oar-to-oar aiming to reach the grand final. There are stalls and activities for spectators on the north bank of the river. Part of York 800 and the Festival of the Rivers.

 

Vintage stuff for sale

When: 10am-5pm
Where: Parliament Street

From fashion to furniture, from vinyl to jewellery, it’s all on sale at the Simply Vintage Market. Plus look out for the classic Lambrettas.

 

Choral evensong

When: 4pm
Where: York Minster

A special evensong to celebrate York 800.

 

Meet the king

When: 11am-5pm. Also Saturday
Where: Clifford’s Tower

For one weekend only, he’s back. King John is not likely top any Monarch of the Millennium polls, but he did the right thing for York by granting our independence 800 years ago. So he’s making a rare personal appearance courtesy of English Heritage at Clifford’s Tower. Try on his crown for size.

 

Monday July 9

Royal visit

When: 2.30pm
Where: See below

Following in the footsteps of the Queen, Prince Philip and Princess Beatrice, the Duke of York arrives to tour his namesake. During his visit Prince Andrew will visit the set of York’s Mystery Plays in Museum Gardens and meet the stars; take part in the York 800 cake giveaway (see below); and meet some of the Ebor Vox singers.

 

Super market

When: 10am-6.15pm
Where: Parliament Street

Specially decorated stalls and traders in celebratory attire are promised as the market returns to Parliament Street. Plus bargains, bargains, bargains…

 

Bun bonanza

When: 3pm
Where: Parliament Street

It’s the highlight of the weekend, the York 800 cake giveaway! York College students are providing a free treat of tea and cake. But get there early – when they’re gone, they’re gone…

 

Finale – Ebor Vox

When: 6pm-8pm
Where: From York Minster to the Eye of York

York streets are alive with the sound of music. Ebor Vox, the ‘Voice of York’, present This York, a musical composition written by Benjamin Till and performed hundreds of singers as they process from the Minster at 6pm to the Eye of York at 6.30pm. The choirs will be joined by many children, giant puppets, dancers and the Shepherd Group Brass Band.