Dingwall gets set to welcome Baton
Crowds arriving in Dingwall next week for the Queen’s Baton Highland celebration event in Jubilee Park are set to get a very colourful welcome thanks to the effort of local businesses and shop keepers.
Over 40 shops along the High Street and around the town have adopted a Commonwealth County or territory and are busy creating eye-catching window displays to get everyone in the mood to celebrate and give the Queen’s Baton Relay a very warm Highland welcome when it arrives on Friday 11 July. The Council’s Community Services team are also getting into the spirit by creating a Commonwealth Games inspired floral display in a prime road-side location outside the Council Offices to mark the special occasion.
Shops taking part include Pat J Mackenzie (Barbados), Sandra’s Card Shop (Scotland), The Greenhouse (India); Ellis Chemist (Uganda) and Cleo’s (Malawi). Businesses taking part include Middleton Ross and Arnott law firm (Rwanda) while the British Red Cross have adopted Ghana and Dingwall Musuem have now put their Commonwealth display on Ross-shire sporting success in the window lovingly put together by Ian MacLeod of the Dingwall Museum Trust.
The Dingwall and Seaforth local Councillors have been encouraging shops and businesses to take part and are delighted with the response from the business community. Speaking on their behalf, Councillor Alister MacKinnon said: “With the world’s media watching the Baton as it makes its way around Scotland and the start of the Commonwealth Games, it is great that people in Dingwall are getting excited and playing their part in ensuring a very Highland welcome to the relay convoy and all the spectators who will be coming along. The window displays will really set the scene, stir up a buzz in the town and add to what we hope will be a very memorable occasion for all ages to enjoy with a great carnival atmosphere.”
Hundreds of people are expected to come to Dingwall to enjoy a free celebration event in Jubilee Park that features live music from Dingwall Pipe Band and Feis Rois musicians, singing, a flash mob dancing display and a special outdoor performance by the Commonwealth Youth Circus who are touring Scotland before performing at the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony. The event starts at 5pm with gates opening at 4pm.
While the celebrations get underway in Jubilee Park the Queens Baton Relay arrives in Dingwall at 6.20pm after setting out in the morning from John O Groats with stops in Wick, Brora, Golspie, Tain and Alness. In the town 11 Baton Bearers will be lined up and ready to carry the Baton from Craig Road along a route that follows the by-pass before turning left along the High Street and then across the railway bridge to Jubilee Park. One of the Baton Bearers is Munlochy lad Matthew Paterson, Head Boy at St Clements Schools who has just returned from the 2014 Special Olympics in Los Angeles triumphant after winning both a gold and silver medal in swimming.
The highlight and finale of the Highland Celebration event will be the arrival of the Baton onto the stage in Jubilee Park at 6.45pm.
As people look forward to taking part in the celebrations, The High Life Highland team will be running an afternoon of activities for young people at Dingwall Leisure Centre and Dingwall Academy. As well as come and try sporting sessions they’ll be a gymnastics display, a mobile climbing wall, bubble football and a selection of fun games to take part in over two sessions starting from 2pm. For further details please contact Wilma Kelt and Lisa MacDonald on 01349 864226.
A complementary park and ride service shuttling people back and forth from the Dingwall Auction Mart to Jubilee Park will be operating from 4pm to 8pm and people are advised to use this service or park in the town centre car parks and then walk to Jubilee Park.
Road users should be aware that on Friday 11 July temporary restrictions will be in place around the town. Ferry Road and Jubilee Road will have restrictions in place from 5pm onwards with access controlled by the Police until 8.30pm. The High Street will be closed from 3pm onwards. Pedestrians should also be aware that access along the Canal Path at Jubilee Park will be temporarily closed from 5pm – 8pm.Anyone attending the event in Jubilee Park is asked to make use of the free park and ride service from the Auction Mart or make use of the Town Centre car parks.