YOUNG people from Oldham will be performing this week in London for the Royal Family as part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
On Sunday 5 June, a Platinum Jubilee Pageant will take place, combining arts, theatre, music, circus and more to celebrate the Queen’s seven-decade reign.
The procession will take place along The Mall, with 38 young people from Oldham among those taking part.
The group is made up of 28 flag bearers and 10 performers, along with youth service staff, who have been practising hard for their role in one of the biggest celebratory events for decades.
The young people were selected to take part by groups including Oldham Theatre Workshop, Oldham Youth Service, Mahdlo, Point, and arts centre Global Grooves in Mossley.
They will be carrying flags with designs based on what children in Oldham said the borough means to them, with one of them reading “My heart beats in this town.”
This royal pageant will be Queen Elizabeth II’s fourth such pageant – and only the eighth in history. The first was in honour of George III in 1809, followed by two for Queen Victoria to celebrate her Golden and Diamond Jubilees.
Dancer CJ Knaggs, 17, from Watersheddings, is studying performing arts at New Bridge College, and will be one of the young performers taking part.
She said: “I love to dance and taking part in the Pageant will be so much fun and such an enjoyable experience. It will be so exciting and such an honour to be able to perform in the parade for Her Majesty.
“I’m excited to explore different types of carnival dances and think it will really develop my dance skills and increase my confidence.”
Freya Bennett-Nielsen, producer at Global Grooves, said: “Our carnival parade celebrates Greater Manchester in all of its wonderful diversity and shines a light on the cultural exchanges that take place when people collaborate with others who have vastly different experiences, ideas and ways of living.
“We are proud to be taking some of Oldham’s finest young performers down to London and absolutely know they will do us proud in front of the eyes of the world.”
Global Grooves’ performance, called A Sharing of Gifts, draws inspiration from across the Commonwealth, including the Caribbean, Africa and the Indian subcontinent.
The parade will wind its way through the streets of Westminster and along the Mall, past Buckingham Palace, using carnival, dance, music, circus and street theatre to tell the story of Queen Elizabeth’s record 70-year-long reign.
A full guide to what’s on in Oldham that weekend can be found at www.oldham.gov.uk/Jubilee