50 great events in Yorkshire for your diary in 2017

Hull welcomes in New Year as City of Culture

1 January

The city hosts an epic and free pyrotechnic display from barges in the Humber to launch its year in the spotlight. Tickets are free but if you can’t get one and you are in Hull, just look up and you will see the fireworks just fine.


Scarborough’s New Year’s Day Dip

1 January

A charity event organised by Scarborough Lions when people in fancy dress plunge into a freezing cold North Sea for a New Year dip at the seafront, Scarborough.

0845 8339892



Snowdrop Spectacular

4 February- 5 March

Each February, hundreds of thousands of hardy snowdrops push through the cold winter ground to create a magnificent ‘white carpet’ across the woodland floor behind Burton Agnes Hall, a much-loved Elizabethan stately home.

01262 490324 burtonagnes.com


17-19 February

It’s a fresh new look for this coastal arts festival in Scarborough. The theme is the unexpected but do expect to see new and exciting artwork, music and performances in unusual places.


Jorvik Viking Festival

20-26 February

Europe’s largest Viking festival paves the way for the return of the Vikings to York. Organisers say it will provide the perfect prologue to the re-opening after devastating floods of the world-famous JORVIK Viking Centre later in the year with Eric Bloodaxe taking centre stage. The team creating the festival programme have taken inspiration from King Eric Bloodaxe’s reign which led to significant changes to the Viking city of Jorvik.

01904 615505 jorvik-viking-festival.co.uk

Dark Skies Festival

18-26 February

Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors National Park Authorities team up again to stage a second Dark Skies Festival. Stargazers will be introduced to the beauty of the skies and the nocturnal wonders of the national parks during a series of night events. Interesting to note businesses and attractions are waking up to possible benefits of growing astro-tourism.



Festival of Food, Drink & Rhubarb

17-19 February

The festival showcases local food and drink producers and celebrates the district’s unique tradition of rhubarb growing and its importance to the local economy, with an exciting mix of live cookery demonstrations, street entertainment, workshops and taster sessions.



Burton Agnes Orchid Festival

4 & 5 March

Burton Agnes has its annual Orchid Festival with stunning exhibitions in the hall plus flower sales. Expert advisors will give talks and take questions about how to care for orchids, and there will be slide shows and stalls selling orchid related goods.

01262 490324 

Huddersfield Literature Festival

4-19 March

Alan Johnson, Jenni Murray and Ian Rankin will all be appearing at HLF2017.

Get your tickets now.

01484 430228 litfest.org

Yorkshire Brass Band Championships

4 & 5 March

More than 60 bands will be competing at Huddersfield Town Hall, all seeking the opportunity to represent Yorkshire at the National Brass Band Championships of Great Britain. It’s the battle of the giants including Black Dyke, Brighouse and Rastrick, Grimethorpe Colliery and Rothwell Temperance Band.

01484 225755 regional-contest.org.uk/yorkshire

York Literature Festival

16-30 March

The festival promotes the arts in York, with an emphasis on literature, spoken word and poetry. It also features music, comedy, cinema and theatre in its programme.



Harrogate Spring Flower Show

20-23 April

One of the first if not the first gardens event of the season featuring beautiful show gardens, the very latest in gardening trends, great shopping, live entertainment and the biggest exhibition by florists and flower arrangers in the country.

01423 546157 flowershow.org.uk/spring-show-2017

York Open Studios

21-23 April and 29 & 30 April

See where artists, working in a 
variety of media, create their 
paintings, sculptures, jewellery and much. Artists and makers were still 
to be announced as we go to print.


World Snooker Championships

15 April-1 May

The world’s best compete for the biggest prize in the sport at the Crucible Theatre. Tickets are already on sale.


Whitby Goth Weekend

21-23 April

Goths from all over the UK and beyond flock to the seaside town every year for the weekend to celebrate their music and culture. Events are being arranged as we go to print.


Tour de Yorkshire

28-30 April

The cycle extravaganza gets into gear 
for the third year. Starting and finishing 
towns include Bridlington and Scarborough, Harrogate and 
Tadcaster, Bradford and Fox 
Valley, Sheffield.



Malton Food Lovers’ Festival

27 & 28 May

A celebration of Yorkshire’s finest produce and cooking and the 2017 festival is set to be the biggest yet. 
Expect heaving stalls, delicious 
street food, talks, tastings, celebrity 
chef demos, cookery lessons and much more!


Dante Festival

17-19 May

York winners of this festival will be the ones to watch for the rest of the racing season. All the action is at York Racecourse of course.

01904 620911 yorkracecourse.co.uk

Swaledale Festival

27 May-10 June

A two-week festival that attracts some of the finest classical musicians from across the world.

Contact best by email enquiries@swalefest.org swaledale-festival.org.uk

Holmfirth Festival of Folk

5-7 May

The festival’s music sessions, concerts, sing-arounds, folk clubs and workshops take place various venues in Holmfirth and most events are free. Organisers produce a community based festival and like to involve schools, local talent, supported by local businesses and a small army of volunteers.



Macmillan Charity Race

17 June

This is the cancer charity’s single biggest fundraising event and is racing’s largest charity race day at York Racecourse. The race is now in its sixth year and likely to raise more than £450,000.

01904 620911 yorkracecourse.co.uk

Equi-Trek Bramham International Horse 

8 June-11 June

The event attracts leading names in the sport including royalty. Book your tickets now 01937 846005


Beverley Folk Festival

16-18 June

Award-winning, critically acclaimed contemporary folk artist Ben Maggs is confirmed for this year’s event at Beverley Racecourse along with singer-songwriter Kelly Oliver plus many more.

01377 219112 beverleyfolkfestival.com

Grassington Festival

16 June-1 July

Two weeks of music and arts in the Yorkshire Dales. Headline acts announced so far include Clare Teal and her Hollywood Orchestra, the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, the Heath Quartet and booked for a gala concert are Raphael Wallfisch and Ben Crick; plus Bananarama appearing at the Last Night Party.

01756 752691 

Dales Festival of Food & Drink

17 & 18 June

The Leyburn event celebrates the very best of locally produced food and drink, plus cookery theatre and attracts crowds from around the region. Entry is free.

Contact via email admin@dalesfestivaloffood.org


Harlow Carr Flower Show

23 June-25 June

The three-day floral extravaganza takes place against a backdrop of the early summer garden plus more than 30 specialist nurseries and garden trade stands, offering you the chance to get hints and tips from the growers themselves.


Bradford Literature Festival

30 June-9 July

Every year world-renowned authors, poets, musicians and artists are invited to visit the city to share their expertise and passions with the audience.



Great Yorkshire Show

11 July-13 July

This is one of the country’s leading agricultural events featuring the best of English farming and rural life. The show attracts more than 130,000 visitors every year to its Harrogate showground.


Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival

20-23 July

The world class, award-winning Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime 
Writing Festival, now in its15th year, celebrates the very best in crime fiction at the magnificent Old Swan Hotel each July. The Festival is a firm date in the literary calendar and has achieved international acclaim for the programming, organisation and atmosphere.

01423 562303 harrogateinternationalfestivals.com

Hull Folk and Maritime Festival

15-17 July

A showcase for more than 70 local, national and international acts, performing mostly free of charge at a variety of venues; there will be sing-around and tunes sessions in local 
pubs as well as folk dance team 
displays, while several historic vessels will be moored up in the Marina, providing public access and hosting performances. Running alongside the event will be the Minerva Real Ale Festival, with over 60 top quality 
beers to choose from.


Bridlington Open Beach Volleyball Championships

8 & 9 July

At least 100 teams take part in the tournament on the South Beach making it one of the largest in the country. The competition has taken place every year since 1982.


Driffield Show

19 July

The Driffield Show is believed to be one of the biggest single day county shows in the country attracting as many as 30,000 people to the Driffield showground. Visitors often pack out rows of stalls selling crafts, country wear and locally produced food as well as marvel at champion livestock as their owners collect hard won trophies.


Deershed Festival

21-23 July

An unconventional family friendly music festival at Baldersby Park, Topcliffe with a line-up that promises to be ‘as thrilling and contemporary as you will find at any UK festival…share that thrill with your kids and feel perfectly safe at the same time’ says the website.


Yorkshire Dales Food & Drink Festival

22 & 23 July

Celebrity chef James Martin is patron of the festival and will be at the event on the 23rd. Fellow chef John Torode appears on the 22nd. All the fun of the festival will be at Funkirk Farm, a working farm just outside Skipton. On the sight are a vintage funfair, live music, bars, a spirit and cocktail theatre, a kids’ craft area, a beers and bangers tent and an artisan cookery school.



Ebor Festival

23-26 August

One of the oldest, richest, fastest and the most famous of racing festivals at one of the country’s leading racecourses.

01904 620911 yorkracecourse.co.uk

Whitby Regatta

19-21 August

Join a full weekend of entertainment including yacht racing, rowing races and various free entertainment. The Whitby Regatta, celebrating more than 175 years, is probably the oldest sea regatta on the northeast coast and draws large crowds into Whitby.


Scarborough Cricket Festival

6-9 August

It’s Yorkshire v Essex at a great favourite sporting event and over the years the festival has played host to some of the world’s greatest cricketers. The ground, situated at North Marine Road, has seen large crowds of holiday makers watching first class cricket since 1876.


Leeds Festival

25-27 August

Bramham Park’s music extravaganza near Wetherby has Muse, Major Laser and Bastile as headline acts with more to be announced.



17-20 August

This is thought to be the biggest tribute band festival in the world aimed at entertaining all the family and celebrating its 11th year in the parkland at Sledmere House, East Yorkshire.


10th National Summer Games, Sheffield

7-12 August

At least 2,500 athletes with 
intellectual disabilities of all ages 
and abilities will come together from across the country. They will be supported over four days of competition by 700 coaches, 600 volunteers and over 6,000 family and friends. A spectacular Olympic-style opening ceremony will kick-off the event at Sheffield United FC, with a closing ceremony at Sheffield Arena.


Leeds West Indian Carnival

28 August

This time preparations for the colourful Bank Holiday event are extra special as the anticipation builds for the carnival’s 50th anniversary. Fabulous costumes plus tastes, sights and sounds that make Leeds West Indian Carnival one of Europe’s most adored Caribbean carnivals.



Freedom Festival

1-3 September

Freedom Festival will conclude the ‘Freedom Season’ during Hull’s City of Culture celebrations. Ambitious plans are under way, and discussions – with extraordinary artists, producers and musicians, thinkers and innovators from Hull, the UK and across the globe – are in motion.


Harrogate Autumn Flower Show

15-17 September

Beautiful show gardens, stunning plant nursery displays, live expert demonstrations and great gardening shopping from gloves to greenhouses, while handmade crafts, lovely gifts and tempting specialist foods all add to the perfect day out.

01423 546157 flowershow.org.uk/autumn-show-2017

St Leger Festival

16 September

This is one of the most historic classic horseracing events in the calendar at Doncaster Racecourse and this year is its 241st anniversary

01302 304200 doncaster-racecourse.co.uk

Ilkley Literature Festival

29 September-15 October

The festival continues to attract some of the biggest names in the literary world and is an inspiration to writers and readers alike.



23 & 24 September

A creative festival celebrating of all things woolly and wonderful with exhibitions, demonstrations and workshops held at the Skipton Auction Mart.



Plusnet Yorkshire Marathon

8 October

The event takes runners past some of York’s most historic sights and along scenic country lanes. Get in training and register your interest now.


Countryside Live

21 & 22 October

It’s one of the last countryside 
events of the year that offers a great rural showcase for all the family, organised by the Yorkshire 
Agricultural Society and held at the Great Yorkshire Show showground, Harrogate.



Leeds International Film Festival

2-16 November

The longstanding festival celebrates 
all things film and cinema but it is 
early days for this year’s programme 
but keep checking their website 
for details.



Boxing Day Dip

26 December

The Boxing Day Dip takes place annually at Whitby and is one of the main Christmas events in the town. It is organised by Whitby Lions and anyone crazy enough to take part are good eggs because they are raising money for various charities.