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Queen's Baton Relay for 2022 Commonwealth Games coming to Dover, where Castle party will be thrown


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Tickets for a free party for 2,500 people, to mark the arrival of the Queen’s Baton Relay, are now on sale.

The celebration is at Dover Castle on Thursday, July 7, at 5.30pm and also heralds the 2022 Commonwealth Games later this summer.

The baton, passing through all Commonwealth countries and coming to Dover next month. Picture: Birmingham 2022
The baton, passing through all Commonwealth countries and coming to Dover next month. Picture: Birmingham 2022

It features entertainment including a disco with Mark 1 Sound & Light, and live music from local acts, Gentlemen of Few and Rudie Edwards.

Historical characters, including King Henry II and his Queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine, will meet the crowds in the Castle grounds.

The arrival of the Queen’s Baton Relay, partway through the evening ,will be accompanied by a fanfare from the Band of The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment and a gun salute from Palace Green.

The Dover-based Vista Twisters, fresh from their success at the cheerleading World Championships in Florida, will give a display of gymnastics, stunting and dance.

For one lucky local Year Six pupil, a special commemorative flag they designed will feature on 1,000 being handed out to people lining the route of the Queen’s Baton Relay. That winning design is yet to be announced.

Relay runners in Kenya. Picture: Birmingham 2022
Relay runners in Kenya. Picture: Birmingham 2022

The finale will feature the Band of The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment and as the event ends at 9pm, the Great Tower will be lit up in patriotic red, white, and blue.

Earlier in the evening, people are being invited to line the route of the Queen’s Baton Relay as it arrives at Deal Pier at 6pm and makes it way along the seafront to Walmer, ending at the Borrow Pitt car park.

Food and drink will be available on-site, but guests can also bring picnics. Parking is there for Blue Badge holders only; all other guests will need to walk to the Castle and are encouraged to bring a torch.

Cllr Trevor Bartlett, Leader of Dover District Council, said: “It’s a great honour for the district to be hosting the Queen’s Baton Relay as excitement builds ahead of the Commonwealth Games, and to be chosen to host an evening event for residents to soak up the atmosphere.”

Neil McCollum, head of historic properties Kent at English Heritage, said: “Dover Castle provides a spectacular backdrop for the arrival of the Queen’s Baton Relay, and we look forward to welcoming everyone to this amazing event."

The baton passing in Fiji. Picture: Birmingham 2022
The baton passing in Fiji. Picture: Birmingham 2022

This year's Commonwealth Games are in Birmingham from July 28 to August 8.

The baton has been passed through Commonwealth countries and territories since last October.

The British relay started in London on June 5, the last day of the Platinum Jubilee weekend, and goes through the West Country and then eastward before reaching Kent on July 7.

That day the relay will be start in Tonbridge, the route taking in the Castle, and then at Canterbury go from Westgate Towers to the Cathedral. After, that it is planned to arrive in at 3.30pm in Folkestone at the F51 multi-storey skatepark off Dover Road.

The baton will then be taken to the town's Harbour Arm and carried on a boat to Deal.

It leaves Kent at Gravesend next day, via the Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara at Khalsa Avenue and is taken to the Midlands via Essex and East Anglia.

The tickets for the Dover Castle party are on a first-come-first-served basis via Eventbrite at dover.gov.uk/QBR

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