The National Trust is holding an evening of entertainment and celebration on Thursday, June 2, as the beacon is lit at Dunstable Downs.
The beacon sits at the highest point in East Anglia and will be jointly lit by the Lord Lieutenant of Bedfordshire and the Mayor of Dunstable. It is one of thousands being lit in the UK and the Commonwealth, and forms part of the official programme announced by Buckingham Palace for the Jubilee Weekend.
The free event begins at 7.30pm with the beacon being lit at 9.45pm, in line with other community beacons across the country. Visitors will be able to dance all evening as they are entertained by the Luton Youth Funk Orchestra, local singer Tony Bignell and vocal trio the Barn-Ettes. Food and drink stalls will be available and visitors are also encouraged to bring a picnic and take in the stunning views as the sun goes down.
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Paul Miller, General Manager at the National Trust, Dunstable Downs said ‘‘We are absolutely delighted to be able to host this once in a lifetime, very special celebratory event to recognise the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, and her tremendous service to the Country. It’ll be super to bring our local community together to mark this wonderful occasion.’’
The event has been part-funded by Dunstable Town Council. Dunstable Town Mayor, Councillor Liz Jones said: "I am so glad the beacon is being lit as part of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations and the community coming together to celebrate and recognise HM The Queen's dedication to her country. As Mayor of Dunstable, I am very honoured to be asked to light the beacon and look forward to seeing those attending on the evening."
Dunstable Downs is set within the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with spectacular views of rolling chalk grasslands and a seemingly endless sky. There are several Sites of Special Scientific Interests, two Scheduled Ancient Monuments (Five Knolls and Medieval Rabbit Warrens) and many other historical features.
The event is free and booking is not required.