Plans launched for royal wedding street celebration in New Forest town


A SPECIAL event is in the pipeline for a New Forest town to allow residents to enjoy what is shaping up to be one of the standout days in the summer of 2018.

Discussions are taking place about holding a live screening of both the royal wedding and FA Cup final in Ringwood on Saturday, May 19.

Prince Harry is set to tie the knot with Meghan Markle in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.

The announcement of the big day came in November after their engagement was announced in a joint statement.

However, some people have highlighted that the date clashes with the curtain call in the English football season.

No time has been confirmed for the wedding proceedings, while the big match at Wembley has started controversially at 5.30pm in recent seasons.

Following the success of recent events in Ringwood organised by the events committee, the small dedicated team is planning on setting up a big screen in the Market Place so people can enjoy both landmark events.

Ringwood town councillor Philip Day, who is on the events committee, said the idea had been put to him by residents and it seemed like a great opportunity.

“Given the popularity of the street party held to celebrate the Queen’s ninetieth birthday party in 2016, we started thinking that it might be possible to do something similar for the wedding,” he said.

“Having mentioned the matter at the last council meeting, it became clear that there was considerable support for some sort of celebration.

“We await further details of exactly at what time the wedding will take place but the idea is to hire a large outdoor screen and erect it in the Market Place so that people can watch the entire event in the open.

“We would like to close the Market Place to traffic so that we can also have a street party, complete with food and drink outlets.

“By coincidence, the FA Cup final is also scheduled to take place later that day, so in the hope that it will feature either Southampton or Bournemouth, or even both, we could also show the game live.”

The event for the Queen’s ninetieth birthday last year drew thousands of people to the Market Place, with residents coming together for a fun-filled street party.

Ringwood events committee returned this year organising both the fireworks and Christmas Market/light switch-on, with the backing of the town council.

Cllr Day said putting on the celebration would not be cheap, but money was available from the recent events.

He said the committee has already had interest for the next Christmas event.

“Our last two events made a profit which has been “ring-fenced” for future events. We have some money in the kitty, but, subject to formal council approval, we will be contacting local businesses for sponsorship and other support,” Cllr Day added.

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