Cultural countdown to the Tour de France

Tour de Franco Tour de Franco

Tuesday, June 17, 2014
12:44 PM

Stage Three of the Tour de France is less than three weeks away and Essex is gearing up for it by showing it is not just a sporting event, but a cultural one too.

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A total of £54,000 has been awarded in funding for the ‘Tour de France – Creating the Way’ project, including £17,000 from Arts Council England and £18,000 from Royal Opera House Bridge.

It will see a range of cultural activities take place in the countdown to Monday, July 7 as well as on the day itself including flag-making workshops, world music performances, and specially created meadow art.

Cllr Ann Naylor, Essex’s cabinet member for public health and wellbeing, said: “The Tour de France is not only a massive sporting event but a very significant cultural one too.

“There is a tradition in France of decorating the route, holding music events and getting the whole community involved, and that is certainly something we’d like to see here in Essex.

“We have some of the most creative artists and musicians in the country, and the Tour de France will provide fantastic inspiration for work that will leave a lasting legacy for Essex.”

The Booking Hall Festival in Rayne is extending its weekend music festival to include the Tour de France. Tony Morrison from Eastern Roots has curated an eclectic programme for Rayne on 7th July and for the Live Site at Admirals Park in Chelmsford.

In Wethersfield, Essex Cultural Diversity Project has been working with the parish council to provide a world music programme.

Workshops are taking place in schools and museums in the four districts the route comes to – Uttlesford, Braintree, Chelmsford and Epping Forest – where children have been making hand-held flags, large feather flags and masks with a Tour de France theme.

Meanwhile, artist Nicola Burrell has been commissioned to create a special piece of meadow art on land at North Weald Airfield that you will be able to see from the sky.

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