Wellingborough gets ready for Waendel Walk
Published Wednesday 9th May 12
The 33rd International Waendel Walk kicks off in Wellingborough this weekend with a colourful parade through the town centre.
From 5pm a traditional jazz band will start the festivities on stage outside The Castle, followed by speeches of welcome and a flag-raising ceremony. Twenty-three cadets from Wellingborough School will then assemble, each with a flag from a different nation representing countries from as far away as Australia, Israel and Taiwan. The parade, led by the Mayor of Wellingborough, will leave The Castle at around 6.15pm and make its way along Commercial Way and Midland Road, up Victoria Street, onto Canon Street, along Church Street and down Sheep Street back to The Castle. From 6.30pm-9.30pm there will be free entertainment provided by Dr Busker on the main stage.
The celebrations continue into the weekend, with talented young people entertaining the crowds on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, and a free Saturday night party with music provided by local reggae band Unity.
So far, more than 1,200 people have signed up in advance for the borough council-organised walks ranging from 5km to a marathon-distance 42km. Many more thousands are expected to register in the next few days, or turn up on the day of the walks. Online booking is open until Thursday, after which people must register in the main hall of The Castle. This year, for the first time, there will be a separate registration desk for cyclists.
Cllr Peter Morrall, chairman of the council's community committee, said: "The event is nearly here and it's looking like being as successful as ever. We've had around the same number of people registering in advance as we had last year, which means we're expecting a lot of people to book in the next few days or turn up over the weekend. We usually get more than 6,500 people taking part and it looks like this year will be the same. We're all really looking forward to seeing old friends who come from all over the world year after year, and also meeting new people who may decide to give it a go for the first time. It looks like the rain might finally stop this weekend, which makes it even more likely that people will turn out. If you wake up on Saturday or Sunday, look out of the window and see the sun is shining, why not pull on some comfy shoes and come and join us. It's a really fun, professional event and the only one of its kind in the UK."
A rolling road closure may be in place throughout the Friday evening parade route from 6pm. More information about the weekend, including walk start times, tips on staying safe and comfortable, and registration details, is available at the council's website.