Civic beacon lighting ceremony to mark start of incredible range of Platinum Jubilee celebrations in Leeds
A civic beacon lighting ceremony to be held on Thursday, 2 June, in Millennium Square, Leeds, will herald the start of an incredible range of Platinum Jubilee events in the city as people gather to celebrate the Queen’s 70 years as sovereign.
The 9pm ceremony will see the city’s new Lord Mayor, Councillor Robert Gettings, light a beacon, with H.M. Deputy Lord Lieutenant, Richard Jackson, in attendance. The City of Leeds Pipe Band and the Leeds Philharmonic Chorus will provide music for the event.
The source of the beacon’s flame will come from the Garforth Peace Flame, which is England’s first World Peace Flame Monument. The flame has been housed in the town’s Diamond Jubilee Garden since 2017. By using the Garforth Monument as the source of the beacon flame, the Leeds Beacon will become the first in history to be lit by a Peace Flame.
Coinciding with the main beacon lighting in the city centre, further beacons will be lit at Horsforth Hall Park, Farsley, Linton Memorial Hall, Thorner, Otley, and Kippax.
Originally used as a communications tool, beacons have long played a part in royal celebrations. The Millennium Square beacon will be one of the thousands lit by communities, charities, and groups up and down the country and across the Commonwealth, celebrating the Platinum Jubilee.
Together with the beacon lighting, many other events throughout the city will mark Her Majesty’s momentous achievements.
Kirkgate Market will host a children’s lunch attended by the Lord Mayor, with the market providing vouchers to cover lunch costs. Between Monday 30 May and Friday 3 June, the market will also offer free Jubilee themed children’s crafts in the Market Kitchen and a spot the royals activity – have your photo taken in the 1904 hall by our royal box and see if you can find the Queen in one of our units.
Victoria Gardens, Headrow, will host a free street gallery photography exhibition showcasing over 70 years of achievement through Queen Elizabeth’s reign. The exhibition will feature more than 120 images and has been curated by street gallery experts. Each display panel features stories, key dates, and background information about each of the photographs with fascinating “did you know” facts.
Street parties have also been organised in some of the city’s key nightlife and leisure hotspots, including the newly pedestrianised New Briggate, Call Lane, Merrion Street, Lower Briggate, Greek Street and the recently opened Cookridge Street public space.
The Jubilee is being marked in many other ways away from the parties. Many wards throughout the city will have a specially designed lit motif for communities to enjoy, organised by the Christmas lights team.
Leeds Library Service also has a wide range of events, including film screenings, book reading and panel events, and Jubilee book-themed jigsaws to enjoy.
For those who would like to share their royal stories, both past and present, the Leeds Platinum Jubilee Memories Project aims to gather people’s recollections and photos into an archive for future generations to enjoy.
Speaking of the beacon lighting and the Platinum Jubilee celebrations, Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Robert Gettings, said: “It is a great honour to participate in such a storied tradition as a Civic beacon lighting.
“It’s also great to see how the people of Leeds are coming together to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee in such a wide variety of ways. I’m sure everyone will make the most of the events and activities and have an amazing extended bank holiday weekend.”
More details on Platinum Jubilee events across Leeds can be found at: www.leeds.gov.uk/PlatinumJubilee.