Media release - issued 12 Jun 2018

Aldershot Community comes together for Victoria Day

Crowds lined the streets of a sunny Aldershot on Saturday to watch the Victoria Day parade make its way through the town centre.

More than 500 people from community groups, schools and businesses took part in the grand parade as part of the event, which was organised by Rushmoor Borough Council, with the support of an enthusiastic group of volunteers and residents who are part of the Aldershot Community Together group.

The parade was led by the town's very own Queen Victoria, Betty Bryce who waved to the crowds from a cream open top vintage Buick.

Marching bands, Normandy veterans, schoolchildren, scout and guide groups and Army cadets were among the many groups parading through the town centre. They were also joined by residents representing the Historic Aldershot Military Town Facebook group; the Friends of Aldershot Lido and the Aldershot Floral Design Club to name just a few.   

Many of the parading groups dressed as Princes and Princesses and in red white and blue in keeping the events theme of 'royalty'.

This year's Best in Parade certificate was awarded to the Greater Rushmoor Nepali Community who wore traditional Nepali dress and entertained the crowds with their cultural music and dance.

This year, the council and the community were able to formally thank the Aldershot Normandy Veterans' Association for their support and participation in Victoria Day over many years.  94-year-old Normandy Veteran, Lewis Trinder accepted the award on their behalf.

There was lots happening around the town centre all day with brass bands performing and stalls to browse.  Many of the town independent shops also supported the day creating eye-catching window displays.  The Best Dressed Shop Window was awarded to Edgar Jerome in Wellington Street, who created an amazing display of militaria and uniforms commemorating 100 years of the RAF.  The Best Dressed Shop Assistant award was presented to the staff at Aldershot Library.

There was also plenty to do in Princes Gardens with family activities including a children's donutting slope, craft activities, sand art, fun fair rides and the Little Dallas Donkeys. 

Live entertainment provided a focal point in the community bandstand with performances by The Dolomites, Band on the Rum, Jack Mason, the Sing Squad, Albany Dance Academy, Redz Performing Academy and KM Belly Dance.  The New Testament Church of God choir, World Eagle Claw Association and the1st Naumati Baja Gulmi also performed.

There was also a classic car show in the Princes Gardens car park.

Councillor David Clifford, Leader of Rushmoor Borough Council, said: "What a fantastic day for Aldershot, the community were out in force supporting the event, enjoying all the activities and entertainment and there was a real buzz around the town."

Councillor Clifford added: "Huge thanks go to our sponsors Grainger Plc, Specsavers, South East Water and Enterprise rent-a-car and to the Aldershot Community Together group who have helped to make the day such a success.  We'd also like to thank every one of the volunteer marshals who gave up their time to help with the parade, plus our events team - the event couldn't happen without you all - thank you!"

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