THE Diamond Jubilee weekend has arrived, bunting has been hung up, the best crockery and glassware is being laid out and parties have already commenced for four days of regal fun.
Parties are planned across the borough, with the biggest bash set to be staged in Southall Park on Sunday.
The organisers behind the hugely successful Clarence Street royal wedding festivities last year have again teamed up with Southall MP Virendra Sharma and Ealing Council to put on a colourful, diverse party.
Harry Randhawa, of A&E Events, has been putting the final touches to the free event, which he says will bring the whole community together.
“We’re nearly there now. Ealing Council have been really helpful to us,” he said. “I’ve lived in Southall for 50 odd years. It gets a lot of negative press so this event is for the whole community, for all of us to get together and show Southall in its best light.
“I was born here and my wife and kids were born here. We’re Asian but we’re also standing up as proud British citizens.”
There will be a selection of British acts, Indian dancers and Pakistani singers performing across four stages, an array of South Asian foods, a funfair and myriad activities for children.
Elsewhere, many schools and playgroups will be tucking into cake for afternoon tea parties today (Friday). And flags will be flying high at the 86 street parties planned right across the borough, from Perivale to Ealing to South Acton.
On Sunday, Ealing Mayor Mohammad Aslam will unveil a commemorative plaque on a black poplar tree planted in Brent Lodge Park. And he will join scouts for a hilltop celebration on Monday night before lighting a jubilee beacon at dusk along with 4,000 others up and down the country.
The Lime Trees Children’s Centre, in Thorndike Avenue, Northolt, is having a picnic from noon to 5pm today (Friday).
Centre manager, Margie Hunt, said the Diamond Jubilee is a great chance to party with friends and neighbours, adding: “We work closely with the children’s centre in Academy Gardens on the Medlar Farm Estate, which was the old Sure Start, so we work with a lot of families on the estates. It’s a great opportunity to get the community together and network together. We’re all really excited.”
There will be a bouncy castle, lemonade-making, dancing and a magician, while guests are invited to bring food to share at the picnic.