Stuck for what to do to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee this weekend? The Scene have found events in and around Southampton to suit all tastes.
The Queen’s 60th year on the throne means that this weekend will be the longest (4 days!) and liveliest of the Summer, with partying taking place in cities across the UK. Southampton is no exception to this rule. It will host the biggest Jubilee party outside the capital, while celebrations across Hampshire and over on the Isle of Wight will mean that no man, woman, or child need feel distanced from the party.
So while the Queen’s flotilla drifts down the Thames on Sunday, you need not feel left out! These are the local highlights, not to be missed, over the weekend.
Southampton City Centre: Tuesday 5th June – Boats, Bands, and the Red Arrows… all for free!
The Mayflower Park is expected to draw in a crowd of 20,000 people, with a party which is being talked about as the biggest Jubilee celebration outside of London. The emphasis is on variety, as food stalls, musicians, and entertainers from around the globe join in the celebrations. Southampton born band Rufus Stone will perform, among others, as the party reaches its big finale.
Cunard’s three ‘Queen’ Ships and Southampton’s historic waterfront will provide a backdrop for Southampton’s first ever performance by the internationally famous Red Arrow aeroplanes. Fireworks will bring the celebrations to a close, before the three ‘Queen’ ships sail off at 11pm.
Portswood Church: 11am-3pm, Saturday 2nd June – A cosy, family friendly celebration
Local residents will gather at the church for a typically English style celebration; music, crafts, games, a bouncy castle, face painting and afternoon tea and more will all combine to make a light, relaxed and fun atmosphere.
The New Forest
In Lyndhurst, the central town in the New Forest, shops will be decorated with bunting along with stalls lining the street over the Jubilee weekend. There will also be other things to do, including a picnic in the park. So, if you haven’t already been, this could be the perfect weekend to explore the New Forest. Driving takes roughly 25 minutes (ROADTRIP!), and trains can be caught from Southampton central station.
The Isle of Wight
If you fancy making a trip of it, a quick hop onto a Red Funnel Ferry down at the docks can whizz you off to beaches of the Isle of Wight. There’s plenty going on, and the Isle will also be included as a location where beacons will be lit in a UK wide tradition on the occurrence of Royal events.
The Main event: Appley Park, Ryde from Saturday 2nd June to Monday 4th June
There’s plenty to see and do across the park and the town of Ryde. During each day, Appley Park will host a vast myriad of activities; entertainers, carnival workshops, magicians, falconry, food stalls, and more.
Highlights include the Parade on Saturday. Everyone’s invited to turn up in vintage costume at the parade, with the theme being ‘Cool Britannia’ through Ryde town. Marching bands, a carnival parade, a Victorian section and a Vintage Car Rally will all take part.
On Sunday 3rd, a scooter parade – made up of Lambretta Special edition scooters – will leave from Newport at 1pm to arrive at Ryde at 2pm.
Each evening there will be separate events, all starting at 7.30pm:
Saturday, a Vintage cocktail party will take place, with ‘Still Moving Dj’s’, according to the event’s website.
On Sunday, until 11pm, a carnival party will be bouncing on the Isle, with Samba and Pax Nindi providing the atmosphere through the night.
Monday 4th returns to the traditional, with a beacon being lit on Appley Beach at 10.15pm with Fireworks bringing the night to a close from then until 11pm.
There’s plenty going on over the extended holiday, these being the Wessex Scene’s chosen highlights. The weather forecast suggests rain – so pack your brollies – but let’s hope that the unpredictability of Great British weather surprises us with sunshine on this occasion!
Have a great Jubilee weekend.
Make sure you share your Jubilee Celebrations with us here
All Images were created by Bryony Wellburn.