TOWNS and villages across Yorkshire are gearing up for the annual celebration of the county tomorrow.

Several public events have been planned, including a civic procession through Malton, led by the Archbishop of York.

Other towns celebrating include Bedale, which is holding a busking competition and a summer fair, and York, which will welcome Yorkshire brass bands and Morris dancers to Parliament Street.

Malton will host the 25th Yorkshire Day Civic Procession and Civic Service after being selected this year to host the county’s Yorkshire Day Civic Ceremony.

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, and 180 civic leaders and members of the Yorkshire Society from across the county will take part in a procession through Malton, ending with a church service at St Michael’s Church, from 10.45am The town will also hold its rejuvenated Saturday market in the Market Place, which will include a section providing produce that is solely from Yorkshire.

For those of an artistic disposition there is the final day of the Ryedale Art Exhibition at the Milton Rooms, just to the side of the Market Place, featuring over 200 works including painting, sculpture, metalwork, textiles, photography and ceramics.

The Milton Rooms is also celebrating young, local artisans, some of the few who still practice traditional crafts cobbling, stonemasonry and cabinet making.

In Bedale, visitors can enjoy welly throwing, Yorkshire history and dialect and a Yorkshire pudding eating contest at the summer fair in the Millings Residential Home grounds.

There will also be a busking competition, with £50 for the winner. Performers will be set up a various points along the main street and will be able to play for half an hour each, from 10am.

Buskers must register at the Tourist Information Centre to enter the competition but those who do not want to enter are welcome to set up and play at any suitable point in the town.

Yorkshire Day was first celebrated in 1975 by the Yorkshire Ridings Society, initially in protest at the reorganisation of the county boundaries in 1974.

The date chosen, August 1, is in reference to the Battle of Minden, when the Yorkshire Light Infantry, on their way to fight, picked white roses to wear in their coats.