With the whole country about to be gripped with Diamond Jubilee fever, and Queen Elizabeth to thank for a four day weekend, Staffordshire has a huge variety of events going on in the county that will guarantee a Bank Holiday weekend fit for Royalty!
At Shugborough Estate there is a whole host of regal events and activities to celebrate – which is very fitting considering it was once home to The Queen’s own cousin, Patrick Lichfield! From 25th May – 30th June visitors can view a captivating selection of photographs of HRH The Queen taken by Patrick Lichfield along with the magnificent robes worn by his grandparents at the Queen’s coronation. There will also be an exhibition of historic 50s attire from the coronation years in the grand Saloon and in the Victorian Servants’ Quarters visitors can find out more about Queen Victoria’s jubilee and see the servants’ hall decked out for a royal celebration. On the 5th June, the Estate is hosting a special Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Day, where everyone is encouraged to don their best royal fancy dress and enjoy the celebration activities.
From Monday to Friday from 30th April – 18th May those with a passion for pottery can take a factory tour at Emma Bridgewater, Stoke-on-Trent, and see all the wonderful pieces, from egg cups to crowns, being made to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee! Then, on 3rd June, celebrate all things regal with the Emma Bridgewater Diamond Jubilee Courtyard Party. With delicious treats in the sunshine, royal activities and makes, it’s an event to entertain the whole family!
They might not be as famous as the Royal Yacht Britannia, but the narrowboats, canal boats and the Princess steam engine at Etruria Industrial Museum’s Jubilee Canal Festival will be just as impressive! The family-friendly summer festival on 2nd and 3rd June brings together some of the waterways’ finest in a lively carnival atmosphere with a Jubilee flotilla and tea party on the Sunday.
As the home of Royal commemorative ware, the Wedgwood Visitor Centre & Museum is hosting a week of Diamond Jubilee celebrations from 2nd – 8th June. Visitors can expect a commemorative museum gallery trail and factory tours, as well as family activities such as face painting, Diamond Jubilee treasure trails and children’s workshops. On Tuesday 5th June there will also be the opportunity to dress up as a Prince or Princess and join the fancy dress parade or even enter the ‘Best Crown’ competition. There is also a free glass of sparkling wine to everyone celebrating an anniversary that week, a free prize draw to win afternoon tea for two, children go free and free admission for anyone celebrating a 60th birthday in June!
Get the party started in Tamworth Castle Pleasure Grounds on Saturday 2nd June with a Diamond Jubilee Party in the Park from 12pm – 3pm. Royal festivities include live music from the bandstand, street magic, face painting and a visit from the King and Queen of Hearts! This is a free event, and guaranteed to be a veritable Royal roundup of fun - why not bring a picnic and make a day of it?
Lichfield has a whole host of exciting events fit for a Queen. Join the ‘Big Jubilee Lunch’ at Lichfield Cathedral on 3rd June where visitors can enjoy a free street party in style on Lichfield Cathedral’s lawns with music, food stalls, bunting and picnincs galore! On 4th June one of Staffordshire’s oldest traditions, Lichfield Greenhill Bower Diamond Jubilee Celebration, will provide the perfect opportunity to get in to the carnival spirit. A traditional street carnival which originates from the 12th century, the Bower boasts bands and floats all led by Green Mans Morris and Sword Club. Celebrations continue in Beacon Park with a full programme of family entertainment, trade and charity stalls, band displays, a fabulous funfair and even a family dog show! Early Bird Wristbands will be available from key locations within the city for just £1 instead of £3 on the day, and under 5s go free.
On 16th June two of Lichfield’s biggest destinations, Lichfield Garrick and Lichfield Cathedral, are joining together to host a true night to remember with a Jubilee Proms Concert. A magnificent celebration of the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II combined with the great tradition of the patriotic British Proms concert, the programme will feature rousing Coronation anthems and spectacular film footage and excerpts from the Westminster Abbey Coronation. Expect to be singing along to such British favourites as Rule Britannia, Jerusalem and Land of Hope and Glory!
The National Memorial Arboretum, near Alrewas, is hosting two days of celebration in honour of The Queen’s milestone event. On Sunday 3rd June you can join the Diamond Jubilee Big Lunch at the Arboretum with Sunday lunch in the Rose Room and nostalgic entertainment from ‘Sincerely Yours’, a tribute to the heyday of 1940s wartime entertainment. Early booking is recommended. Then, on 4th June, there is a Diamond Jubilee Big Picnic, where visitors are invited bring their own Jubilee feast to the Arboretum and be entertained by local musicians ‘Strictly Swing’ and the ‘Lichfield Lighthouse Company’, whilst younger visitors can get involved with face painting and craft activities. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated.
Royal Air Force Museum Cosford are hosting a whole week of Diamond Jubilee half term activities guaranteed to keep the kids entertained from 2nd– 10th June. For just £1 per person little princes and princesses can show off their aristocratic arts and crafts skills by making and decorating their very own crown and decorating their own section of bunting – all of the bunting will then be pieced together to make a huge bunting display within the Museum!
On the 26th and 27th May Leek’s Diamond Jubilee Event will include an Italian and British market to commemorate both the Jubilee and the 10th anniversary of the town’s twinning with Este, Italy. Families are also invited to bring a picnic to Brough Park where there will be many activities including fairground rides, falconry displays, hog roasts and local bands. On the evening of Saturday 26th May there will be live performances from jazz/soul band ‘Major Feelgood and the Soul Warriors’ in Brough Park. Tickets are available from selected outlets in the town.
For a whole weekend of celebrations, head to Stafford for a Jubilee street party of Royal proportions. On Saturday 2nd June the town centre will be taken over by street theatre and entertainers as Stafford goes back to the 1950s. Those with a passion for all things vintage can learn ‘50s style dance and get their hair put up in styles of the era. There will also be a Jubilee Tea Party on the grounds of St Mary’s Church on the Saturday, where revelers can enjoy a well-earned cup of tea and cupcake! Then, on Sunday 3rd June, the famous Glen Miller Orchestra will be thrilling music-lovers with a celebration concert at the town’s Gatehouse Theatre. Finish off the bonanza weekend on Monday 4th July at Stafford Castle with a spectacular firework display to mark the historic occasion.
For lovers of local ales, the Diamond Jubilee Beer Festival at The Swan, Stafford, is sure to tickle the tastebuds! The festival begins at 4:00pm on Friday 1st June and runs through to the evening of Monday 4th June. As well as 30 varieties of locally brewed ales from Staffordshire’s breweries including Titanic and Lymestone Breweries, there will be food stalls, barbeques, live music and entertainment throughout all four days and evenings. Best of all, admission to the entire weekend is free!
To celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, Enjoy Staffordshire are also hosting a Right Royal Treasure Hunt giving away 60 tickets to top attractions across the county. Whether you are an adventure junkie, nature lover or culture vulture, ten tickets from six of the county’s leading attractions including Alton Towers Resort, Drayton Manor Theme Park, Shugborough Estate, Emma Bridgewater, Trentham Estate and the Trentham Monkey Forest, as well as Enjoy Staffordshire Thrill Hopper tickets, will be given away each day from 28th May until the Jubilee weekend celebrations begin on 2nd June.
Each day, clues will be given out on the Enjoy Staffs Facebook Fan Page that lead participants to one of Staffordshire’s vast array of attractions and destinations. There will also be hints to the answers given out on the @EnjoyStaffs Twitter feed, and the clues can then be solved with the help of the Enjoy Staffordshire website, www.enjoystaffordshire.com. Ten lucky winners will be selected each day, giving 60 Right Royal Treasure Hunt entrants the opportunity to enjoy brand new attractions and experiences around the county this summer!