Get on your marks for Olympics and Jubilee

YOU don’t have to venture too far over the double Bank Holiday in early June to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee or the Olympic Torch Relay as Banbridge District Council is organising celebrations to mark these two unique events.

On Monday 4 June 2012, over 4,000 beacons will be lit around the world at exactly the same time (10.20pm) to commemorate the Queen’s 60-year reign and The Outlet at Bridgewater Park, Banbridge has been chosen as the location for lighting a beacon in the Banbridge District.

Council Chairman Councillor Joan Baird will do the honour of lighting the beacon and all members of the local community are invited to come along to witness the event.

On Tuesday 5 June, Gilford Community Forum is holding a family sports day and picnic at Gilford Community Centre between 1pm and 3pm. Families are encouraged to pack a picnic and join in the fun. Musical and street entertainment will be provided in the town centre from 3pm onwards. Face painters, stilt walkers, balloon modellers and other street performers will keep the crowds entertained as they await the arrival of the Olympic Torch, which is expected at 5.22pm.

Banbridge too will come alive with music and street entertainment between 3pm and 6pm. ‘Voice of the Bann Young Folk’, which consists of six young people aged 17 to 22 from Banbridge and Dromore, will be performing their Torch Song in the Old Town Hall at 3pm, 3.45pm and 4.10pm. The Cool FM Roadshow and a samba band will provide the party vibes for the gathering crowds ahead of the torch’s arrival at 5.43pm.

Cuddly characters, stilt walkers and other street entertainers will be appearing around the town. Young children can enjoy face painting and balloon modelling while older children can have a go on the climbing tower.

Banbridge Chamber of Commerce will have a marquee in Scarva Street and local people will be able to taste a range of fine foods as well as watch live cookery demonstrations.

Some traffic disruption may be experienced in both Gilford and Banbridge for a short period as the Olympic Torch convoy passes through. Everyone is encouraged to come along and take part in these two events and help create a little bit of history.

In addition, local groups will be hosting their own Diamond Jubilee celebrations with events being held in various parts of the district from Friday 1 until Tuesday 5 June. These include street parties, barbecues, fancy dress parades, garden parties, buffet suppers, fireworks displays and much more. These events have been supported by the Council’s Community Festivals Fund.

For further information, contact the Council’s Arts and Events section on 4066 0605.