Events to commemorate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year have already started to take place in Leeds, with plenty more yet to come.
The main activities will be focused around the extended bank holiday weekend, which gives families and friends a wonderful opportunity to come together and celebrate what could be a once in a lifetime occasion for most.
The people of Leeds are already embracing Diamond Jubilee fever with over 76 applications for residential road closures for street parties having been received by the council. This is in comparison to just 11 for last year’s Royal Wedding, so it promises to be a memorable weekend for the city.
As well as celebrating in local communities, there are lots of free events taking place in the city centre for people to enjoy and get involved in.
Breeze International Youth Festival will get the party started on Saturday 2 June when young people stage a lively performance in Briggate, with bunting and city banners adding to the atmosphere.
On Sunday, take a stroll down to Kirkgate Market where the halls will be draped with traditional bunting and flags. Outside at the farmer’s market from 9am to 2pm there will be a range of fairground rides and free face painting for children,
In partnership with Leeds City Council, Seven Jazz have arranged the Big Band Boogie event on Briggate on Sunday, 3 June from 11am until 4pm. Five local big bands will get people in the mood to celebrate with music ranging from calypso to jazz rock on the stage throughout the day. There will be a range of other street entertainment including dancers and balloon artists.
People wanting to take part in the Big Jubilee Lunch on Sunday can head to Millennium Square where coverage of national Big Lunch events will be shown on the big screen between 11am to 2pm, followed by a live relay of the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant between 2pm to 5pm. One of the main highlights of the celebrations, the Thames Pageant promises to be one of the most spectacular nautical events ever seen in London with more than 1000 boats sailing down the Thames in celebration of the Queen's 60 year reign. People are encouraged to bring their own picnics and collapsible seating to watch this spectacular event outdoors. A number of picnic tables will be available on a first-come-first-served basis, and the surrounding restaurants on Millennium Square will also have outdoor cafe seating and serve drinks and food outside as usual (weather permitting!).
National events including the Diamond Jubilee Concert at Buckingham Palace (7.30pm) and the lighting of the National Beacon (10.30pm) by Her Majesty on bank holiday Monday, and the St Paul’s Cathedral service and procession (10.30am) on bank holiday Tuesday will also be shown on the big screen on Millennium Square for people to enjoy.
All eyes will be on Otley Chevin on Monday night, with a special beacon lighting event taking place at Surprise View on York Gate. Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Ann Castle, will light the Otley beacon at 10.30pm, to coincide with Her Majesty The Queen lighting the first of the national beacons in London. People are encouraged to come along with their Union Jack flags to support the event from 9pm on 4 June. The military band of the Otley and Yeadon Army Cadet Corps will provide music until after the beacon is lit. Parking is free and available at normal Chevin car parks. People in Otley town centre will be able to see the Otley beacon, which will remain lit for 30 minutes.
Councillor Keith Wakefield, leader of Leeds City Council said:
“The Diamond Jubilee is shaping up to be a fantastic celebration for the whole country, and I am delighted with what we have planned to mark the event in Leeds.
“I know that lots of residents will be celebrating with their friends, families, neighbours and their local communities, but I hope that the events we have planned will inspire them to come into the city centre as well. This is a great chance for young and old alike to come together to enjoy the city and appreciate the talent that we have in Leeds”
Motorists in the city are asked to be patience if they come across any road closures for street parties over the bank holiday weekend.
For more information about these events and others visit the council’s website www.leeds.gov.uk and search for Diamond Jubilee or follow this link http://www.leeds.gov.uk/Leisure_and_culture/Arts_and_entertainment/Diamond_Jubilee_events_in_Leeds.aspx
For media enquiries, please contact;
Claire Macklam, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1578