The first-ever Yorkshire Festival 2014 is under way as the official countdown to the Tour de France continues.

The Festival will tap into Yorkshire’s rich cultural talents and be the first ever first ever festival to precede the Tour de France in its 111 year history.

It will see 100 days of art events and cultural activities, as well as hundreds of fringe events, take place across the region in the lead up to the Grand Départ.

Events in Ilkley and Otley include: Cheer sing - workshop on May 3 at Addingham Memorial Hall; Tour of Infinite Possibility - June 21 in Addingham; Tour De Brass - June 22 in Ilkley and in Otley on June 21 and Tutti Frutti on May 1 at Otley Courthouse.

Henrietta Duckworth, the festival’s executive producer, said: “All 47 headline Yorkshire Festival projects, as well as hundreds of Fringe events, are ready to reveal a myriad of opportunities, across all art forms for fun, invention and festivities for all ages. And, inspired by Le Tour, the largest free annual sporting event in the world, the majority of Yorkshire Festival’s programme is free to access. Everyone is invited to this party – log on, book in, bring your picnic and come and be part of it!”

The festival has been backed by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg who said: “This is a great opportunity to showcase Yorkshire’s unique culture and boost local businesses as we gear up for the Grand Départ, which will bring in millions of pounds of investment to the region.”

Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, added: “Yorkshire Festival 2014 is about to get the county charged with excitement for the next 100 days as we get ready to welcome the Tour de France. We would encourage everyone to get into the spirit and be part of this incredible time for Yorkshire.”

Yorkshire Festival 2014 is the brainchild of Welcome to Yorkshire and has been backed by Yorkshire Water, Arts Council England and Yorkshire local authorities. Out of almost 400 bids, 47 projects were commissioned to be officially part of the 100-day festival – which will also include hundreds of fringe events.

For details of all the events visit, Yorkshire Festival on Facebook or follow Yorkshire Festival 2014 on Twitter – @YFest2014.