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Countdown to York 800 begins

York council

10:47am 8th July 2011

Residents are being asked to shout about how they would like to celebrate a very special anniversary for York next year.

9th July 2012 marks the 800th anniversary of local democracy in the city. On the same date in 1212, King John signed a charter, which allowed the city to elect a mayor and a council for the first time to govern itself. Before that the city had been under the direct rule of the King via his Sheriff and the citizens had very little control over how their city was run.

York @ Large – York’s Cultural partnership – is organising a programme of events running from January to December 2012 to mark the anniversary, and they’re hoping residents across the city will get involved in the celebrations.

Key highlights already planned include a major event on Charter Day in the city centre involving community choirs and other vocalists performing a new choral composition and the Mystery Plays running throughout August in the Museum Gardens.

Councillor Sonja Crisp, City of York Council’s Cabinet member for Leisure, Culture and Social Inclusion, said:

“ I am delighted that the council is able to play a key role in co-ordinating a whole year’s worth of events to celebrate York 800. I am personally very keen to ensure that residents get involved as much as possible. People love living in York, and I hope we can build on their love of this beautiful city to create a memorable year for them in 2012.”

Gill Cooper, head of Arts and Culture, City of York Council, said:

“We want to create a year of events that will make people feel proud of York’s past, celebrate its present, and embrace its the future. Charter Day 1212 gave people in York a voice for the first time and we want to make sure that that voice is heard loud and clear as part of the city’s 2012.

“We’d really like to hear from residents, local community groups and organisations about how they would like to get involved in next year’s celebrations.”

Residents can contact York.800@york.gov.uk with ideas, or write to Gill Cooper, Head of Arts, Heritage and Culture, CYC, 10-12 George Hudson Street, York YO1 6LP.

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