Aldershot’s biggest and best day out, Victoria Day will be back next month, and it will be bringing a carnival atmosphere to the town centre.

Taking place on Saturday 8 June from 10am to 4pm, Victoria Day celebrates Aldershot’s links to Queen Victoria, who established the town as the home of the British Army, and it promises a packed day of summer fun.

This year, the carnival parade will be larger and more colourful than ever before and the spectacular ‘Carnival of the Animals’ will leave from the Princes Hall at 11am, making its way down to the NAAFI roundabout and ending at around midday.

The colourful carnival parade will feature around 800 participants including local school children, community groups, samba bands, dancers, army veterans, community organisations and much more. Led as always by Aldershot's very own Queen Victoria, Betty Bryce who this year will be giving her royal wave to the crowds from a classic Buick.

The event will also mark as a double celebration as 2024 marks 50 years of Rushmoor Borough Council.

Parade participants are being encouraged to dress up and enter the spirit of the day. Several local schools are already signed-up to be part of the day including Marlborough Infant School, Park Primary School, Wellington Primary School, Talavera Infant and Junior Schools, and St Michael’s Church of England Junior School. It is not too late to sign up to take part in the parade and the closing date is Friday 24 May.

There are many opportunities to take part in some exciting free workshops before the big day including carnival costume workshops, Bollywood dance and samba drumming. Everyone coming along to the event is also being encouraged make their own animal masks at home to wear on the day, look out for the council’s how to video coming soon. The workshops have been funded by Arts Council England. Find out more by going to our take part in Victoria Day page.

There will be a carnival atmosphere all day with live music and entertainment at the community bandstand in Princes Gardens and in Union Street. There will be performances by the Kings Pond Shantymen, Jim Hammond and Saxooma to name just a few. Also look out for a samba band battle in the community bandstand just after midday.

Carrying on the animal theme, visitors can look out for explorer Jon Voyage with his puppet orangutan and the Bee Cart which will bring bees, plants, and pollination to life in a fun street theatre show.

There will be around 45 craft, food, and community stalls across the town centre as well as some classic cars on display outside the Princes Hall from 12.30pm. There will also be creature encounters, dance workshops, circus skills, fun with the Bubbles Man, plus Lego brick building, hands on crafts and football fun with The Shots. Fun fair rides and face painting will also be available for a small cost.

Councillor Keith Dibble, Cabinet member elect for Development and Economic Growth at Rushmoor Borough Council said: “Victoria Day once again promises to be another outstanding free family event for Rushmoor residents. Our history is as important to Aldershot as the future of the town."

Keith added: “Our visitors can look forward to a fantastic day of live music, entertainment, and family activities. This year, we are delighted to be working with some leading UK arts organisations to elevate this year’s carnival parade and live entertainment, alongside our amazing community groups.”
Volunteers from the Aldershot Community Together group will be getting involved on the day and helping with activities and as parade marshals. Anyone who would like to get involved can email or look for Aldershot Community Together on Facebook.

Victoria Day has been made possible thanks to sponsorship from the Arts Council England, Farnborough International, toob, Wellesley, Enterprise, Harlow Hall, West Heath Garage and nDreams.

Special thanks as always goes to Aldershot’s very own Queen Victoria, Betty Bryce and Herman Frost who organises the display of beautiful classic cars for the day.

Further information on the event is availableon our Victoria Day page.

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