THE parties have been months in the planning and now we’re all set to embark on a weekend to remember – so what’s in store to mark the Diamond Jubilee across Dacorum?
> Just a few months after taking the throne the Queen visited Hemel’s Adeyfield to lay a foundation stone for the new Church of St Barnabas and now, as she celebrates her Diamond Jubilee 60 years later, the town will hold a jam-packed carnival and fun day to mark all her achievements.
Floats commemorating each decade of her reign will kick off the event - moving slowly through the town centre to Gadebridge Park where a whole array of activities will take place.
Along with dancing and arts and crafts activities, a big screen live streaming the concert from Buckingham Palace, and the arrival at dusk of the Royal Artillery parachute display team, there will be a community stage featuring performances from dancers at local schools, theatre groups, and other community associations.
On the main stage, compered by Howard Read, Hank Wangford and the Lost Cowboys, Ahab and Shooglenifty will all perform.
BBC Radio’s Simon Mayo described Ahab as ‘top-notch UK Americana featuring tight four-piece harmonies’.
And the foursome are guaranteed to present Hemel with a blistering, high energy show of harmony-infused Americana / Pop.
Once known as the rock‘n’roll doctor, English country and western singer and songwriter Hank Wangford, who in another life continues to work in healthcare, will entertain the crowds together with his band of Lost Cowboys with the wit and rawness of his hard country music.
One of Scotland’s most unique musical exports, six man band Shooglenifty are credited for being the originators of Acid-croft – a fiery and infectious blend of Celtic traditional music and dance grooves that band members describe as hypno-folkadelic ambient trad.
It’s a bit tricky to put their sound into words but their energetic show will soon have the Gadebridge Park audience under their musical spell.
And it doesn’t stop there as the exciting day ends with the lighting of a jubilee beacon and a fabulous firework display.
For more details go online at www.dacorum.gov.uk/jubilee
> Berkhamsted is pulling out all the stops on Monday for a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee to be proud of.
A massive street party with a huge range of free activities - from Punch and Judy, to crown making, to stilt walking as well as a whole array of stage entertainment kicks off the bash with a bang.
Look forward to students from the Espinosa Chute Dance Centre performing Lindy Hop and Street Dance and the new Espinosa Dance Project presenting two exciting new works.
The EDP, Berkhamsted’s own Ballet Company will perform Le Jazz Hot and Diamonds Are Forever.
The Jubilee dancers include former principal with the English National Ballet Yat-Sen Chang, along with Sarah Hoar, Bethany Hooper, Ilai Szpiezak, Alexandra Cameran-Martin, Fiona Cameran-Martin, Natasha Mei-Ling Chung and Lloyd Petchy.
Berkhamsted’s very own soprano Kathryn Jenkin will finish off the afternoon’s street entertainment by leading the crowds in a Last Night of the Proms.
Get ready to belt out Rule Britannia, Land of Hope and Glory, Jerusalem and, of course, the National Anthem.
Kathryn is no stranger to performing to crowds having stood in for Katherine Jenkins at the Sheffield Hallam Arena in front of an audience of around 10,000.
Just typing that number of people brings me out in a cold sweat but was Kathryn nervous?
She said: “I always find it’s the anticipation of something like that which is by far the worst point.
“You worry about it, you wonder what will happen if you fall off your stiletto heels in the middle of a number.
“Of course you don’t, but even if something did go wrong when you’re up there performing you always find a way through it you don’t actually ever stop in the middle of a song.
“Your professionalism carries you through …. that, and a big smile.”
But if you prefer smaller crowds and being indoors - over at the Dean’s Hall at Berkhamsted School why not share afternoon tea with a pianist or get yourself front seats at the fashion show by Shoot Me Studios.
And later on in the day don’t forget to join in the Jubilee party at Ashlyns School where the Buckingham Palace Jubilee concert will be screened, a tree and time capsule will be planted, and the official Jubilee beacon will be lit.
The jam-packed day will finish with a fantastic firework display.
To find out more, go online at www.berkhamsted.gov.uk/documents/pages-queens-jubilee.pdf
> Celebrate the Jubilee with six decades of fun at the Riverside Shopping Centre in Hemel Hempstead this Saturday.
Get ready for a shopping experience with a difference as the centre transforms into an interactive time machine covering the last 60 years.
Come and enjoy the host of activities lined up which celebrate only the best parts of each decade.
Young shoppers can create their own crowns in the 1950’s Arty Party workshop to mark the coronation.
The 1960s will be captured by Hemel’s own recreation of the famous Abbey Road zebra crossing while people can remember the seventies by creating their very own flower power design to be displayed on the mall.
Pacman, Space Invaders and Donkey Kong will blast shoppers back to the 1980s while those with a sweet tooth can test their skills with a 1990’s sweet challenge.
And the digital age will be revealed in the noughties with special rewards for those most technically minded.
The Jubilee timeline event takes place at the Riverside Shopping Centre on Saturday, June 2 from 10am to 4pm.
> Launching a weekend of Jubilee activities Chesham Community Cultural Festival presents Kpanlogo at the Elgiva this Saturday.
Celebrating Chesham’s international connections through an extravaganza of drumming, dance and storytelling, audiences should prepare to be wowed.
Kpanlogo – A Chesham Community Cultural Festival Event will be at the Elgiva Theatre in Chesham on Saturday, June 2 at 7pm.
Call the box office on 01494 582900 for tickets or go online at www.elgiva.com