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Dingwall street party will mark Queen's Platinum Jubilee and celebrate town's resilience through a coronavirus pandemic that spanned more than two years

By Hector MacKenzie

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Jack Shepherd, Dingwall Community Council chairman. Picture: Scott MacLennan
Jack Shepherd, Dingwall Community Council chairman. Picture: Scott MacLennan

ROSS-SHIRE's county town is setting the scene for a street party that will mark a milestone moment in history – and celebrate the community's remarkable efforts in weathering the unprecedented coronavirus storm.

Marking the Queen's Platinum Jubilee, the Saturday, June 4 party is being pulled together by community stalwarts with strong support from the public.

Reflecting on the pandemic challenges and the area's response, Dingwall Community Council chairman Jack Shepherd said: "It's been a tough two-a-half years and a lot of folk have had a really hard time of it. We pulled together up here with a lot going on behind the scenes during lockdown."

The street party running from noon will begin with a piped procession from the Legion Building on the High Street to the Town Hall, headed by the Lord Lieutenant, Joanie Whiteford, who is the Queen's representative in the area.

The procession will include local dignitaries, cadets, the Colours of the Royal British Legion (Scotland), Seaforth Highlanders Regimental Association (Ross-shire Branch) and a vintage car from each decade of the Queen's reign.

A fun run will take place starting on the High Street and heading to Ferry Point.

Tables will be set out on the High Street on a first come, first seated basis. There will be prizes for the best turned out tables – with the emphasis on people having fun.

The crowd will be kept entertained by a selection of local singers and dancers, groups and solo artists. Master of ceremonies will be George Murray.

Cromartie Car Park will have several stalls set up with local traders selling their wares and a funfair for the younger revellers. The vintage cars from the procession will park up to allow enthusiasts to get a closer look.

At 5pm a mobile stage will be moved from the front of the Town Hall to Cromartie Car Park for an evening event with local band Rhythm & Reel headlining. It will run from 8pm until 10.30pm.

Mr Shepherd added: "We are still looking for some children's entertainers for through the daytime, people who can make animals out of balloons, magicians, clowns, etc. If anyone would like to volunteer their services, get in touch with Dingwall Community Council through their Facebook page."

He thanked Highland Council for helping to pull the licensing required together at short notice, amongst the officials Trevor Fraser, Angela Mair, Diane Agnew and Cai MacIver.

Mr Shepherd said: "We are also very grateful to the National Lottery Communities Fund, who granted us £5000 to make it all possible."

Reflecting on the pandemic in his role as a health and safety consultant, he said people in the Highlands were more careful in abiding by restrictions and making the necessary sacrifices compared to some areas.

A well-known local figure, Eunice Macrae, echoed the feelings of many with a comment posted about the event on the Dingwall Community Council page: "It his going to be a lovely day for all, young and old. Let us all enjoy it be happy and thankful. Never mind the potholes for one day, let us all be one family for a day."

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