Happy Black Country Day! Find out what's on and have a bostin' day
Happy Black Country Day!
Today we celebrate everything that makes the Black Country such a fantastic place to live in and work in.
It has already been a summer to remember.
We have been treated to scorching heat and long days of sunshine you would usually associate more with Marbella than Bilston.
And there has been an air of celebration, with the Royal Wedding boosting national pride before England’s wonderful effort to reach the World Cup semi-final.
WATCH: Donchez Dacres launch the Black Country Festival
The Black Country Festival has added to the carnival atmosphere.
Since the start of the month, tens of thousands of people have attended events celebrating the region’s rich cultural heritage.
Today will be the pinnacle of it all, with the Dudley Fun Day, starring Donchez Dacres, the OH Festival at Old Hill, Wordsley Carnival and the Wolverhampton Fiesta among the highlights.
There really is something for everyone. So make sure you get out to an event, get a pint of Banks’s down ya and fly the flag with pride.
Let’s all have a bostin’ old time.
What events are on today?
All sorts of events are taking place across the Black Country today as the region celebrates with pride.
Wolverhampton Fiesta is taking over the city's West Park, Donchez Dacres is among the acts at Dudley Fun Day and Old Hill's OH Festival will feature a fun fair, stalls and live music.
Dudley Golf Club is hosting an open competition, Wordsley Carnival is in King George V Park and Shell Corner's first ever Food and Drink Festival is also taking place.
Bilston and Willenhall Lions Club is holding a fun day in Bilston High Street from 10am to 4pm, while a Yarn Storming event at Blackheath Library will see local landmarks wrapped in wool.
Libraries in West Bromwich, Stone Cross, Tipton, Wednesbury, Bleakhouse and Great Bridge are all also hosting events.
Meanwhile The Blind Dave Colour Run is taking place at Sandwell Valley Country Park.
And although not strictly part of the Black Country Festival, the Black Country Living Museum is hosting a 1940s weekend complete with vintage vehicles, warplanes and variety shows.
And the fun doesn't stop today - celebrations are continuing throughout July, read more about the top Black Country Day events here.
Black Country Day background
What is Black Country Day?
In honour of the area's industrial heritage, Black Country Day is on July 14 - the anniversary of the invention of the world's first steam engine, the Newcomen Engine, in 1712.
Black Country Day was established after the Department of Communities and Local Government marked the region's industrial heritage with a specially designed banner in 2013.
The banner has now become the Black Country Flag.
Organisers say the main goal of Black Country Day is: "To create a sense of community in the Black Country neighbourhoods where people live and work.
"We hope that an increased sense of community will lead to more personal involvement and more cultural, educational and social activities.
"This in turn, will create a better sense of community and a better place for us all to live. That, plus it's fun!"
The Black Country Festival, created in 2014, is a series of independently organised events throughout July that encompass the Black Country Day.
Each event is designed to bring Black Country communities together using the celebration of shared culture and heritage.
Find out more and see the full list of Black Country Festival events here.
What is the Black Country?
This has always been subject to much debate.
The Black Country is in the West Midlands and is officially recognised as the four boroughs of Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton.
The term 'Black Country' refers to the region's industrial heritage and was first used during the 19th century towards the end of the Industrial Revolution.
The name is believed to believed to come from the soot and smoke that poured from the coal mines, foundries and forges that dominated the landscape during the 1800s.
But the definition of the Black Country is contentious.
Traditionalists claim the Black Country is where the coal seam comes to the surface encompassing towns such as Brierley Hill, West Bromwich, Oldbury, Blackheath, Cradley Heath, Old Hill, Bilston, Dudley, Netherton, Tipton, and parts of Wednesbury.
By that definition places such as Stourbridge, Smethwick, Warley and Wolverhampton would all be excluded.
This map, printed by the Express & Star in 2004, was first created by Christopher Saxton in 1578.