For the third year in a row the London 2012 Open Weekend, supported by BP, invites cultural, arts and sports organisations to throw open their doors and invite new audiences, participants and especially young people to enter and join in. New for this year, we've issued a challenge for everyone to try out something for the first time. And Millennium Square is a location of firsts for me.
Almost a decade ago I mounted the first live concert here for BBC One as part of the Music Live Festival. Some years later I returned when the city established its splendid Live Site big screen. Since then it's become a new focal point for great events and gatherings in this most sociable of Yorkshire cities. I look forward to seeing it in action in the summer of 2012.
But even by its high standards I've never seen such energy in the Square – certainly not at ten o'clock in the morning. Yorkshire Gold has brought together a sample of the 90 or so different Open Weekend events and projects in Yorkshire.
Table tennis players from the north of the county, female boxers from Hull, a basketball team from York and freestyle footballers from Leeds were all there asking people to take up a sporting challenge and have a go (the table tennis went well enough for someone with no hand-eye coordination – but I wimped out of the boxing...).
Bradford's Bollywood dancers will give a spicy flavour to the weekend with a huge Step Up event in the city's Centenary Square tomorrow. The juggling stilt walkers, complete with Olympic iconography, are part of Sheffield's 'Try-athlon' – and will be offering people three days to learn circus skills.
Fusionista's dance expert, Sophie Mei, tempted the good people of Leeds (but not me, thankfully) to try belly dancing. Harrogate's Christopher Stone, an accountant by profession, but more recently a finalist in Britain’s Got Talent, serenaded us.
Meanwhile, the immaculate cricket whites of Don't Just Sit There were the most obvious demonstration of the marriage of sport and art as they abandoned silly mid off and gully to create a contemporary dance routine that would cause more alarm in the dressing room than a fiery over from Freddy Flintoff.
As I write this I’m back on the train heading for Lincolnshire, and glad of the rest before another burst of energy and challenge tonight in Skegness. There I'm looking forward to the new 'SO' festival brought together for Open Weekend, very much inspired by London 2012, by the talented Robin Morley.
Next on the list are the Great North Run culture programme in Gateshead, Bicycle Ballet in Manchester and the wonderful Lakes Alive in Carlisle, before I head back south for more in Stevenage and Potters Bar.
And my personal challenge this weekend – to test the Network Rail weekend schedules to, and probably beyond, their natural limits...
Are you ready to take up the London 2012 Open Weekend challenge? Find an event near you