Communities along the route of the Tour de France in Britain are being asked to start their parties early and join official French festivities over the weekend of May 31 and June 1.
La Fête du Tour is a celebration of places that feature on the route of the Tour de France and, this year, two stages of the Tour’s Grand Depart pass through Craven.
Organisers want communities to get involved by organising their own event, or simply adding a French/cycling twist to an existing event on May 31 or June 1.
Traditional French Fête du Tour festivities include cycle rides, picnics and walks in villages and towns across the country.
Craven District Council has already signed up, with its Le Petit Depart mass cycle ride on the Sunday.
“It will be an annual sportive event on the route of the Tour de France,” said Bruce Dinsmore, Craven District Council’s sports development officer.
“This will be the first of our legacy projects, establishing Craven as a first class cycling destination.”
Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, added: “The fever for Le Tour is spreading and La Fête du Tour is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for everyone to get involved.
“This will be the first time the UK has engaged with La Fête and is the perfect opportunity for communities along the route to celebrate their part in this historic sporting moment and build momentum before the race weekend.”
Sir Rodney Walker, the chairman of organisers TdFHUB2014 Ltd, said: “The Tour is not just about the three days of the race but also the celebrations in the run up to it.
“The Fête is the perfect opportunity for people to engage with the event, and we’re calling on them to play their part by getting together to plan a party or event to welcome this amazing spectacle.”
Event organisers will have access to a unique Fête du Tour logo and can tie in their activities with the official charity of the Grand Départ, Marie Curie, which has fundraising packs.
Dr Jane Collins, chief executive of Marie Curie, said: “Getting involved in the Fête du Tour is the perfect way to get geared up to welcome the main event to the UK.
“There are so many ways you can get behind both the Fête du Tour and support Marie Curie.
“We want as many people as possible to take part in the Fête du Tour as well as registering for their Grand Départy fundraising pack.
“All the money raised will enable Marie Curie to continue to provide vital care, free of charge, to those living with terminal illnesses as well as offering emotional support to their families.
“To register for your pack or for more information on the Grand Départy, simply visit mariecurie.org.uk/tourdefrance.”
For more guidance on organising events, visit letour.yorkshire.com/news/join-the-grand-départy or to register an event, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
l See Dales Life Page 8 for a great Craven cycle ride.