City of York Council and the Yorkshire Air Museum are proud to present “La Grande Soirée des Officiers Français” on Wednesday 2 July at the De Grey Rooms, St Leonard’s Place, York. This unique event will celebrate the forthcoming Grand Départ of the Tour de France in York and will raise funds for the official Grand Départ charity Marie Curie Cancer Care. It will also commemorate the 70th anniversary of the 2300 French airmen arriving at RAF Elvington in the only two French Bomber Command Squadrons (346 Guyenne & 347 Tunisie) and will take place in the same venue as the dashing French officers danced over 70 years ago..
Television presenter Jan Leeming (Vice President of the Yorkshire Air Museum) will greet guests at an exclusive Champagne reception held in the elegant, early Victorian ballroom on St Leonard’s Place. This will be followed by a superb four-course French dinner served with a selection of fine wines courtesy of the Jurade de St Emillion. Diners will be entertained by Jean-Jacques Delaunay and his Paris-based band in the chandeliered ballroom which was once the favourite haunt of the officers of the French Air Force in 1944.
A number of special guests are expected to attend and all guests are invited to wear black tie or cocktail dress or, if they prefer, uniform with which medals may be worn.
Tickets for this glittering occasion are now on sale at £80 each and booking for tables of up to ten can be accommodated. All profits from the Grande Soirée will be donated to Marie Curie Cancer Care, the Tour de France’s chosen charity partner for the Grand Départ.
Councillor Sonja Crisp, City of York Council’s Cabinet Member for Leisure, Culture and Tourism, said: “This very special event not only commemorates the contribution to the City by the French, but is a key component of York: Be part of it, a cultural festival that celebrates the Tour de France coming to York.”
Director of the Yorkshire Air Museum, Ian Reed FRAeS, D’Officier de L’Ordre National du Mérite, said: “In 1944 a French airmen at RAF Elvington wrote: ‘In 70 years time they will talk, perhaps with a tear in their eyes, about… these strange airmen who stole girls’ hearts’. On 2 July, Le Grande Soirée des Officiers Français will bring back that magic, elegance and style: a fitting tribute and a unique and sparkling occasion for York.”
Tickets can be ordered from City of York Council by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 01904 554100.