Crawley new town is 70 years old – and the milestone will be marked with a party to remember.
At 1.30pm this Saturday (November 25), a 400-strong carnival parade of schoolchildren, drummers and dancers is scheduled to march out of Queensway, wind its way up the Broadway, along the High Street and back to the Memorial Gardens.
Then the gardens will be a-buzz with music and dancing galore, with artists such as renowned Ed Sheeran tribute act Jack Shepherd, entertaining the crowds.
There will be food of all kinds, demonstrations and information from community groups – and the day will culminate in what should be a spectacular light show and fireworks display at 5.45pm.
The whole thing has been funded by Arts Council England and will celebrate the diversity of our amazing town as well as this important anniversary.
In preparation for the Big Seven-0, artists, schools and community groups have been exploring the cultural heritage of the town with creative producers Gurvinder Sander, from Cohesion Plus, and John Varah, from Same Sky.
And what a history our new town has. It has produced such stars as England manager Gareth Southgate, rock stars The Cure and boxing legend Alan Minter.
It was designed to house 50,000 people but is now home to more than 100,000.
And how many boroughs can boast lakes, a forest and a major international airport?
No wonder the town motto is I Grow and I Rejoice!
Councillor Michael Jones, cabinet member for community engagement at Crawley Borough Council, said: “We are delighted to be staging this large community event, which will provide a fitting culmination to the town’s 70th birthday celebrations.
“This fun event will capture the cultural vibrancy of our town and showcase the creativity and talent that exists in Crawley. So come down and join in the fun on Saturday 25 November.”
Council leader Councillor Peter Lamb added: “Crawley’s platinum anniversary is almost at an end and, after a year’s worth of celebratory events and activities, why not see it out in style at The Big Seven-0?”
For more details, including the full stage programme, visit www.crawleybigseven0.co.uk or use #bigseven0 on Twitter.
And enjoy the party!