BRADFORD BID will be celebrating Yorkshire Day this year by giving out free white roses to shoppers in the city centre.

And a few lucky customers will also be going home with an extra special surprise gift on August 1.

The Business Improvement District (BID) – the limited not-for-profit company funded by more than 600 levy-paying businesses and organisations to help promote and develop the city centre – first began handing out roses during the pandemic in 2020, using long-handled grips to maintain a safe distance to passers-by.

The white roses will be supplied by Blooms on Market Street.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: There will be activities in Church Green on August 1 as part of the Keighley Yorkshire Day celebrationsThere will be activities in Church Green on August 1 as part of the Keighley Yorkshire Day celebrations

The BID’s business engagement officer, Nikki Chadburn, said: “It was a sign of the times but we were determined to celebrate Yorkshire Day as the city centre worked hard to get back to normal after the first lockdown – even if it meant keeping our distance.

“This year, it should feel a bit more personal. We want people to see it as a special ‘thank you’ from all our 600 BID members to show how much we love our customers.”

“The BID tries to support local traders whenever possible, so it’s great to be able to source our fabulous Yorkshire Day gifts from the a lovely local shop like Blooms.”

She said the BID will also be offering a special deal for people using its Bradford City Centre Gift Card, which can be used in dozens of shops, hospitality venues and leisure outlets. Any online purchases over £10 (to a maximum of £100) made on August 1 will be entitled to 10 per cent off.

Ann Fawcett, who runs Blooms on Market Street, said: “We’re thrilled to be able to support the BID with their White Rose giveaway this year.

I’m Bradford born and bred and Yorkshire through and through and I’ll certainly be celebrating on August 1 and I can’t think of a better way to do so than by giving somebody a white rose

Yorkshire Day was first established in 1975 to promote the county. It was initially celebrated by the Yorkshire Ridings Society as "a protest movement against the local government re-organisation of 1974.”

August 1 was chosen because it was already celebrated by the Light Infantry, successors to the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, as Minden Day, after the battle of Minden, when an Anglo-German army defeated the French in a famous infantry battle of the Seven Years’ War. Six British Army infantry regiments are permitted to wear a rose worn in their headdress and the Light Infantry’s rose is white.

It was also picked because the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833 was passed on August 1, and William Wilberforce, a Yorkshire MP, led the campaign for emancipation.

Since 1985, there has been a civic gathering of lord mayors, mayors, and other civic heads from across the county, in a Yorkshire town or city on August 1.

Bradford first hosted it in 1997, when it marked the centenary of its charter of incorporation as a city, and again in 2005.