Sheffield fountains to run yellow from tomorrow as city marks 100 days to Tour de France start

Yorkshire Festival launches tomorrow, Sheffield public toilets on yellow alert* as Grand Depart countdown dips below 100 days to go (*probably)

by Tony Farrelly   March 26, 2014  

Yellow Fountain outside Sheffield Railway Station (image CC licensed via Flickr user mattbuck4950)

Cross your legs if your visiting the centre of Sheffield in the near future, because for the next two weeks fountains in the city centre will run yellow as part of a Tour de France themed art event called Paint the City Yellow, part of the 100 day long Yorkshire Festival - which also starts tomorrow.

Why? Well Today it’s 100 days until the Tour de France starts in Yorkshire, so far the county has prepared itself with a combination of the traditional - hiking of prices on hotel rooms and campsites, and the imaginative: a mountain of wooly bunting; plans to pull a piano up Cragg Vale by bicycle, now as we enter the home straight Yorkshire is taking thing up a notch, or several and the yellow fountains are just the start of what promises to be a Tour inspired cultural (and commercial) frenzy culminating on the 6th of July with some actual bike racing.

The dye being used to turn the fountains yellow is called fluoroscein and is is used a a trace dye in medical procedures such as angiograms and, as you’ve probably guessed from the name, it’s fluorescent so for maximum effect bright lights will be shone on to the water at night.

Paint the City Yellow co-organiser, visual artist Terry Wragg told the Sheffield Star: “The event is potentially spectacular, and definitely non- toxic.

This dye is incredibly strong, and the science behind the fluorescent effects is fascinating.”
The keen eyed amongst you will have spotted the phrase “potentially spectacular” because as Terry points out,

“It has been impossible to carry out any dress rehearsal, for obvious reasons, so anything could happen. We are doing it for fun, and hope people find the effects enjoyable.”

So what’s it going to look like? Well, we’ve created this helpful artists’s impression of one of the fountains in Sheffield that won’t be running yellow just to give you an idea.

The effect could undoubtedly be spectacular, but having looked at the various shades of fluorescein available our advice to the organisers is to make sure they don’t run the dye too thin especially in the Peace Gardens or city centre public toilets may struggle to cope, as for pub chucking out time that doesn't bear thinking about.

13 user comments

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My initial thoughts on seeing the heading involved pub chuck out time so I'm glad you mentioned it Big Grin Possibly it would be a better effect to use fibre optics and LED's to light the fountain jets??

cidermart's picture

posted by cidermart [493 posts]
26th March 2014 - 18:32


Best hope it doesn't snow

posted by freespirit1 [217 posts]
26th March 2014 - 18:48


I'm not 100% sure it was Sheffield, but it was somewhere in that general area my friend came from years ago and called it the toilet bowl of Yorkshire. It seems they have gone literal with it now Wink

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [9362 posts]
26th March 2014 - 18:57


Someone proposed it? Someone seconded it? The Committee voted for it? Rolling On The Floor

The Committee really should stop holding its meetings in the three ale bar of The Snivelling Coalman. Devil

Can you just imagine what Keith Waterhouse would have made of all this.

posted by levermonkey [610 posts]
26th March 2014 - 19:16


Watch out where the huskies go...

Ride your own ride

posted by CanAmSteve [230 posts]
26th March 2014 - 22:01


They're taking the piss?

gb901's picture

posted by gb901 [175 posts]
26th March 2014 - 22:31


Berocca piss!

posted by thelimopit [126 posts]
26th March 2014 - 22:37


Given how much it rains in Yorkshire, there's no shortage of water, but I can't help feeling they didn't really think this through thoroughly.....why not flocks of yellow homing pigeons, or parades of yellow whippets?

posted by garygarry [7 posts]
27th March 2014 - 9:15


garygarry wrote:
Given how much it rains in Yorkshire, there's no shortage of water, but I can't help feeling they didn't really think this through thoroughly.....why not flocks of yellow homing pigeons, or parades of yellow whippets?

Flat caps to go with?

posted by gareth2510 [168 posts]
27th March 2014 - 13:15


'The event is potentially spectacular, and definitely non- toxic.'

Let's not mention the potential for anaphylactic reactions, huh?

posted by andyp [1371 posts]
27th March 2014 - 14:34


yellow flat caps on similarly colored whippets is something I would pay to see

posted by garygarry [7 posts]
28th March 2014 - 19:03


I used to live in Sheffield and we always called it the P**s Gardens in any case, owing to them having built them in the place frequented by the special friends of Special Brew.

posted by MrsK [40 posts]
29th March 2014 - 8:12


Isn't that just Sheffield in general?

posted by andyp [1371 posts]
1st April 2014 - 13:18