Town reveals plans for post-lockdown celebration
- Credit: Ian Carstairs
Plans have been revealed for a town-wide party to mark the scheduled end to lockdown restrictions across the country.
Harleston is hoping to host a celebration at the end of next month after the final few rules are due to be scrapped.
The UK has been in the grip of some form of lockdown since March 23 last year.
People in Harleston, including the town council, businesses and an array of other organisations, are therefore keen to recognise a momentous occasion in the nation's recent history.
Trevor Graham, chairman of Harleston Town Council, said plans had been in the pipeline for several months.
"We had a ceremony last July to celebrate lockdown easing, and the idea was always to do something bigger and better when this was all over," said Mr Graham.
"I think it is essential we do something like this, having all been locked away for a year without being able to see and meet each other.
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"It has been quite a miserable time so it is really important we come together."
On June 21, as rules such as social distancing are brought to an end, 20 flags representing various groups will be raised under the banner of 'Team Harleston'.
Then, at the core of Harleston's planned celebration is a programme of entertainment from midday to 5pm on Saturday, June 26,
Town centre streets will be shut to make way for live music and an assortment of craft and food stalls in the area of the market square.
Activities for children will likely be based at St John's Church and work is ongoing to ensure businesses taking part in the celebration feel as safe as possible.
"We are conscious of cramming things together just because we have come out of lockdown," added Mr Graham.
"We don't want to take things too far, so stalls will be reasonably spaced out."
And the chairman emphasised the hope that the celebration could be a sign of things to come.
"Part of this is to show all the organisations across Harleston coming together as one," he said.
"The hope is that this is not just a one-off, but a lasting collective that uses the adversity of the last year to move forward."