A HUGE picnic will be marking the Queen’s 70 years and it could be the largest event Wantage has ever seen.

To celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee the Market Place in Wantage will close to make way for a day of entertainments.

On Sunday June 5, from 10.30am to 4pm Wantage will host The Big Jubilee Lunch.

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The town council will be setting out picnic tables and seating ready for a “right royal occasion” for all ages.

Families are encouraged to bring their own food and drink or buy food in the square where a hog roast and licensed bar will be on offer.

Wantage Silver Band will march into the Town Square at 10.30am and after an address by the Town Mayor, activities will commence.

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Wantage Mayor Jim Sibbald said: “I am looking forward to it especially after being re-elected as Mayor this month.

“There will be lots of live bands playing at The Big Lunch, there will be food and families are welcome, it is a free-for-all.”

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Mr Sibbald added: “We will also be welcoming our new Ukrainian friends as well, because there are lots of Ukrainians who are now coming over here and are being looked after. We hope they will join us.”

The celebrations will start with a service of thanksgiving on Wednesday June 1, followed by the Queen’s parade on Thursday, a beacon will be lit on the Lockinge estate and on Saturday there will be the Grove Extravaganza.

Herald Series: Wantage Silver BandWantage Silver Band

At The Big Lunch acts on the large, covered stage will include The Vintage Sweethearts, Wantage Big Band providing swing music, Wantage Rock Choir, Free 4 All and Little Green Shed, plus other performances by the American Dance School of Wantage.

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Free Children’s entertainment is also being provided with traditional Fair Rides, Face Painting, Body Art and Balloon Modelling.

The massive event is being arranged by Town Centre Manager, Andrea Yates and her team. Ms Yates said: “I am thrilled to be part of this most remarkable occasion. 70 years reigning as our monarch is a piece of history, I am proud to have seen.

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“I remember the Diamond Jubilee and the awful weather, but we came out as a family and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. We really hope to see many of our community come out and be part of this fabulous party. There’s something for everyone”.

In addition to the big celebrations, street parties will take place closing roads across the town.

In Wantage on Saturday June 4 Hans Avenue, Maria Crescent & Susan Crescent and Haywards Close will close. On Sunda June 5, Truelocks Way and Wantage Market Place will close.

Read more from this author

This story was written by Rebecca Whittaker, she joined the team in 2019 as a multimedia reporter.

Rebecca covers education and news in Abingdon and Wantage.

Get in touch with her by emailing: Rebecca.Whittaker@newquest.co.uk or calling 07824524333

Follow her on Twitter @RebecWhitt

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