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Gillingham Town Council is to organize a procession on Sunday May 7 to mark to mark the coronation of King Charles III the day before.

The procession, which will take place at midday, is described as an ‘informal celebration rather than formal parade’, with ‘Royal-themed fancy dress’. It will be open to all residents.

The event will then be followed by a picnic on the Town Meadow, organised by the Town Meadow group.

On the following day, Monday May 8, which is a bank holiday, volunteers will be invited to help pick litter in hedgerows and public open spaces in and around the town and to clear the brambles along Le Neubourg Way, near the Waitrose car park.

The town’s events, which were agreed by members of the town council’s general purposes committee last week, are in line with the coronation planning both at a national and county level.

On Tuesday February 15 Dorset Council announced that it would be encouraging local communities to start planning local events and parties for the special bank holiday weekend in May, including the Coronation Big Lunch where ‘neighbours and communities are invited to share food and fun together, will take place across the country between Saturday 6 and Monday 8 May’.

A spokesperson added: ‘If you’re planning a street party, you will need to apply for a temporary road closure, and we can help with that, head to our road closure page to find out more.

‘Dorset Council is waiving the costs of road closure applications and we welcome residents to apply. You need to apply six weeks in advance.

‘Find out more about how you and your community can celebrate the Coronation on our website.

Meanwhile Councillor Val Pothecary, chair of Dorset Council as well as a Gillingham town councillor and Dorset councillor for the town, said: ‘The Coronation of King Charles III is going to be a very special national event, and we want as many people as possible to take part in the celebrations.

‘As well as the formal and organised community events that will be taking place, we’re encouraging people to get into the spirit of the occasion and put on their own local events – it could be as simple as inviting your family and friends for a party in the garden, or a larger community event such as a street party for the neighbourhood.’

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