Diamond Jubilee events

Caroline Cassidy

It won't have escaped your attention that this year the Queen celebrates 60 years on the throne and as the extended weekend begins, Brits across the country will be getting involved in the festivities. If you're stuck for ideas, here are just a few of the events taking place from Saturday 2 June to Tuesday 5 June.

Diamon Jubilee events
Diamon Jubilee events

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Official celebrations
Londoners and visitors to the capital will be treated to all the pomp and circumstance of the official royal celebrations. On Sunday, the River Thames will be awash with red, white and blue as a flotilla of 1,000 boats make their through central London, led by the Royal Barge.

On Monday 4 June, Buckingham Palace is hosting a star-studded BBC concert, featuring musical heavyweights such as Elton John, Tom Jones, Paul McCartney, Shirley Bassey and Stevie Wonder, who will be joined by the likes of Jessie J, JLS and Ed Sheeran. If you haven't been lucky enough to get tickets, the concert will be broadcast live on BBC1 and Radio 2.

Following the concert, a network of 2,012 Beacons will be lit by communities throughout the UK, with the Queen lighting the National Beacon herself.

Then, on Tuesday 5 June, a Service of Thanksgiving will take place at St Paul's Cathedral, followed by a formal carriage procession commemorating the Diamond Jubilee.

Jubilee Festivals
If the crowds on the River Thames are not your idea of fun, how about attending one of the many Jubilee Festivals taking place? In London, Hyde Park is the setting for the Jubilee Family Festival, where celebrity performers, street performers, dancers, horses and military displays will showcase Britain throughout the decades. South of the river, Battersea Park also has a Jubilee Festival planned, with music, dance, crafts and a funfair to keep the whole family entertained.

In Birmingham, the bank holiday weekend will feature a variety of Jubilee-inspired events, including a Carnival Parade, craft and food fair, a 1950s-themed pageant and children's rides in Victoria Square.

Others may prefer a different kind of celebration. At the Landmark Theatre in Ilfracombe, Devon, the Jubilee Beer and Music Festival combines special ales from local breweries with live music from local bands for a merry celebration.

In fact, festivals like these will be taking place not just throughout the UK but across the Commonwealth, so keep your eyes peeled for local events.

Street parties
With many Brits having held their own street party in honour of last year's royal wedding, the Diamond Jubilee will no doubt see thousands organising community get-togethers.

Even if you've missed the boat in terms of organising your own street party, you can still take part in the celebrations via the fourth annual Big Lunch. This year, Brits up and down the country will be organising their Big Jubilee Lunch events and whether it's a local park, a neighbour's garden or a school, it's the perfect excuse to join your local community to eat, drink and be merry. Visit www.thebiglunch.com for a free pack and more information.

What are your plans for the Diamond Jubilee weekend? Leave your comments below...