Sheffield is ready to welcome one of the world’s greatest sporting events as the city turns yellow and events will be on offer for everyone to get into Le Tour spirit.
The eyes of the world will focus on Yorkshire this week, with hundreds of thousands of cycling enthusiasts descending on Sheffield and over a billion viewers watching on television around the world.
The message from the City Council is that there will be fun for everyone in the build- up towards the race arriving in Sheffield on Sunday (6 July).
From Thursday through to Monday (3-7 July), the city centre will host numerous activities and events to celebrate the arrival of the Tour.
There’ll be an exciting, free festival in the Peace Gardens with a stage area providing entertainment and music between the live coverage of the Tour on a large screen. The party will continue until well into Saturday and Sunday evenings with live music courtesy of the organisers of Sheffield’s popular Tramlines music festival. (*see notes for editors)
Fargate will take on a Gallic air, with a French themed market all this week – complete with a mini Eiffel Tower. This will merge with the Continental Market from Thursday through until Sunday (6 July). The French Market will open Monday to Saturday from 9am to 8pm (stalls close at 6pm, but the bars stay open until 10pm) and the Continental Market will be open Thursday to Saturday between 9am and 8pm and then 10am to 6pm on Sunday 6 July.
Mass Morris dancing, belly dancing, motorbike display teams, poetry jams, a musical sculpture made of bicycle bells and a bike cavalcade are just some of the artistic projects which will be animating the centre, while the University of Sheffield are also set to provide a programme of street entertainment.
There will also be added events linked to the Yorkshire Festival. The Sheffield Festival of Colour, Space and Light will see a giant walk-in inflatable art installation outside the Cathedral and the Yorkshire in Yellow exhibition at the Millennium Gallery.
Free family fun will be on offer all along the route of the race on Sunday (6 July) with each of the Spectator Hubs providing screens to follow the event and a wide variety of entertainment at each.
High Bradfield is the first spectator hub as the Peloton arrives in Sheffield. This hub is set to become a centre of celebration on the Tour weekend, with activities taking place from Friday 4 to Sunday 6 July.
Dubbed The Steel Stage by the organisers, the hub will have entertainment and all the live action on the big screen with free entry to Bradfield Brewery’s first ever Beer Festival and a host of cycling themed activities led by Langsett Cycles.
A day of fun activities on a cycling theme called ‘Blood, Sweat and Gears’ will take place on The Moor on Saturday (5 July) between 11.30am and 5.30pm.
Sheffield’s Documentary Festival Doc/Fest will also be pitching their Tour De Cinema on Sunday 6 July for a series of outdoor screenings in association with the Yorkshire Festival.
For those wanting to fully absorb themselves in the event, The Steel Stage also have several route-side campsites available from Friday 4 to Monday 7 July. These family-friendly campsites offer on-route locations, just a short walk from High Bradfield with their own onsite bar, catering facilities and toilets with pitch options available for motorhomes and caravans.
The second hub is located in the centre of Oughtibridge village, just before the ascent of Cote d’Oughtibridge (Jawbone Hill) one of the key climbs in Stage 2, and with some of the best racing views will be found at Coronation Park.
This community-friendly site ticks a lot of boxes for racing fans with a large screen, disabled viewing, concessions, toilets and children’s play area to keep the little ones entertained. Arts activities and performances will be led by Greentop Circus, Oughtibridge Brass Band and Art in the Park to name a few.
In addition to the hub there are also several convenient campsites, all located directly along the route in close proximity to the Jawbone. With fantastic rural scenery as well as views of the race, Oughtibridge is likely to be popular destination for both visitors and tour enthusiasts.
The next hub at Abbeyfield Park presents the last chance to see the race on a big screen before the peloton hits Cote de Wincobank on Jenkin Road.
Abbeyfield Park will be a wonderful community hub with its own refreshments, toilets and a big screen to watch all the race action as it approaches.
Greentop Circus will be on hand to perform unicycle demonstrations and training, Art in the Park will run crazy bunting workshops for hands-on fun and Little Red Light productions will host a family picnic and fancy dress bicycle parade, so there’ll be plenty to keep everyone entertained.
Wincobank Common will be transformed into a family friendly spectator site.at the brow of Cote de Wincobank on Jenkin Road – the steepest climb of the whole Tour de France with a 33 per cent gradient!
Like all the spectator hubs the site will have its own offering of refreshments, toilets, big screen coverage of the race and creative activities.
The Friends of Wincobank Hill will be leading the site celebrations, while Heeley City Farm will be building an Iron Age roundhouse complete with spoke wheel roof and panels decorated by local schools, Unbeatable Energy will be hosting drumming workshops and local artist Paul Evans will be creating a huge eco land art piece to be visible from the air.
Meadowhall is situated right in the heart of the Stage 2 route action, with the Jenkin Road hill climb just around the corner and the race then coming directly around the shopping centre itself before the final sprint outside Motorpoint Arena.
Meadowhall is hosting a free Fan Fest, not only giving spectators the chance to see the full race on big viewing screens, but also to stand just feet away from the cyclists as they ride past and gear up for the sprint finish.
Set to be a huge celebration for all the family, the Fan Fest will take place in Meadowhall’s Orange Zone car parks. Spectators will be able to watch the race and the two hour long publicity caravan that precedes it and also get the opportunity to experience a whole host of fun cycling and non-cycling related activities and entertainment throughout the day. There is also the opportunity to take advantage of the 280 stores and over 50 places to eat and drink inside the centre.
Onsite activities include climbing walls, extreme mountain bike shows, mobile caving experiences, mini tennis and basketball sessions, while JE James Cycling will also be hosting specialist coaching sessions. Capital FM will be broadcasting their coverage live from the site and presenting a live music stage.
Don Valley Bowl (DVB) is the final official spectator hub on Stage 2 and will sit close to the finish line. It will host a 100 square metre large screen, cycle expo featuring local businesses, pop up retail and restaurant showcase, entertainment, corporate hospitality and much more.
As with all the hubs there will also be a programme of artistic activity throughout the day, including a Poetry Zone and a pedal powered printing press, while Art in the Park will also be creating some huge aerial view sculptures using local industrial materials to reflect the heritage of this particular area of the city.
Councillor Isobel Bowler, the City Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture, Sport and Leisure said: “There are lots of different opportunities for everyone to be able to join in the celebrations as one of the world’s greatest sporting events comes to the streets of Sheffield. We expect thousands of local people to enjoy this once in a lifetime opportunity.
“The Spectator Hubs are free to enter and will provide a safe, enjoyable and well-managed experience for all spectators along the course, and the city centre will be full of activity all weekend.”
A huge publicity caravan will cover the route about two hours ahead of the race to hand out souvenirs to the expectant crowds lining the route – all adding to the spectacle of one of the world’s greatest sporting events.
Wherever you choose to watch Le Tour in Sheffield you can be guaranteed a great place to enjoy the event, as well as a safe, family-friendly meeting place with lots of different activities.
Details of the route and arrangements for the Tour de France can be found at www.welcometosheffield.co.uk/tdf2014.
For those who want to cycle more, they can try a led ride run by British Cycling. There will be one in your area to match your ability please go to www.goskyride.com/sheffield to search for rides.
Notes for editors:
The Tramlines Tour de France Party begins in the Peace Gardens at 5pm on Saturday and Sunday (5 and 6 July). The Selecter headline on Saturday with Mo Kolours, K.O.G. and the Zongo Brigade, The Unscene Sheffield and The Purple Cat Choir supporting.
On Sunday evening The Hot Soles take centre stage supported by High Hazels, Hot Diamond Aces and Bang Bang Romeo.
Stage 2 of the Tour de France leaves York and arrives in Sheffield via the Peak District National Park on the A616 at Midhopestones and continues through Bradfield, Worrall, Oughtibridge. Grenoside, Hillsborough, Shirecliffe and Wincobank to finish outside the Sheffield Motorpoint Arena.
For further information please contact Warwick Toone, Media Relations Officer on 07764 659182 or 0114 205 3546. E-mail: email@example.com. For out of office hours media enquiries ring 07711 153995.