A special clock counting down the time until the much heralded Tour de France comes to Sheffield is set to be installed in the Winter Garden.

Sheffield City Council is gearing up to welcome thousands of visitors to the city as the South Yorkshire capital becomes the focus nationally and internationally as part of the Tour de France Grand Depart.

And this weekend sees the launch of the 100 day Yorkshire Festival of culture across the county.

The Yorkshire Festival celebrates arts and culture in our region in the lead up to the race.

The Sheffield Culture Consortium, through Arts Council England funding, has commissioned a number of local artists to launch the activity in Sheffield. Activity includes a free Unicycle Display performance open to members of the public at 4.30pm on Thursday in Tudor Square. As well as the Unicycle display, giant brightly coloured flowers will be installed in key locations in the city centre.

Over the weekend there will be a range of family activities, including the opportunity to decorate the Tour de France Countdown Clock before it is installed in the Winter Garden and a bicycle-powered printing press outside the Town Hall where people can provide the power to make a Tour de France Sheffield commemorative poster to keep.

On Sunday (30 March), Barkers Pool will host a free bicycle-decorating workshop from 12.00 – 4.00pm, alongside a Cycle Boost cycle repair workshop. Look out for the big yellow gazebos and come along with your bike! This is first of a number of Sheffield Steel Peleton Events throughout the 100 Days.

The weekend celebrations conclude with a concert of classically-arranged British folk songs in the Millennium Galleries from 6.30pm on 30 March. Residents can apply for free tickets at Sheffield Choral Celebration.

Festival events will continue through April, May and June.

Councillor Isobel Bowler, the City Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture, Sport and Leisure said:

“I’m delighted that so many Yorkshire Festival events are happening in Sheffield. The Tour de France will showcase Yorkshire on a global scale and put the spotlight firmly on Sheffield when the second stage finishes here on 6 July.

“The 100 day Yorkshire Festival will see a diverse range of cultural activity taking place throughout the city and provides opportunities for people to get involved and be part of the excitement around this once in a lifetime sporting event.”

The Yorkshire Festival has been funded through Arts Council England and Yorkshire Water with a contribution from Sheffield City Council and other local authorities in Yorkshire.

Find out more about Yorkshire Festival Events across the region or how to get involved.