Worcester is ready to welcome the Queen’s Baton Relay on Friday
The timings and full line-up for The Queen's Baton Relay's route through Worcester have been revealed – with many exciting events taking place across the city.
The Relay – part of the build-up to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games – will arrive on Friday afternoon, with local Batonbearers carrying the Baton around the city, encountering a packed programme of fun and activities along the way.
The main programme of events has been organised by Worcester City Council, working with partners across the city, and with sponsorship from Worcester BID (Business Improvement District). Fiesta, an evening programme of street celebrations at The Arches and the University of Worcester's City Centre campus, has been programmed by Severn Arts.
The full schedule runs as follows:
- 5:38pm – The first Batonbearer sets off from The Cross
- 5:40pm – High Street
- 5:41pm – The Mayor greets Batonbearer at the Guildhall
- 5:44pm – Cathedral Square
- 5:45pm – Worcester Cathedral: Civil War re-enactors will form a guard of honour at the main entrance; inside, an invited audience will enjoy a DanceFest performance at the tomb of King John
- 5:50pm – College Green (outside Worcester Cathedral south door): open air performance by DanceFest
- 5:54pm – King's Boathouse: Baton is transported across the Severn by a Dragonboat, with Batonbearer Rebecca Redfern, Paralympics silver medallist; a flotilla of other boats will escort the dragon boat, which will do several loops on the river, heading south and then returning north
- 6:09pm – Dragonboat returns to shore at the Swan Sanctuary Steps, Bromwich Parade, on the opposite bank of the Severn
- 6:11pm - Worcestershire County Cricket Club, New Road: children form a guard of honour to welcome the Baton; invited audience watch Baton received at a schools' cricket competition
- 6:18pm - Cripplegate Park (entrance from New Road, by Tennis Courts): the Relay will be greeted by sports demonstrations (organised by freedom Leisure) and a further DanceFest performance
- 6:24pm – Outside University of Worcester Arena, Hylton Road: the road will be closed, allowing for the creation of an open air wheelchair basketball court and the staging of an exhibition match, at which the Baton will be greeted
- 6:28pm – Sabrina Bridge (with flotilla of boats below)
- 6:32pm – Worcester Racecourse: 2014 Grand National winner Pineau De Re will escort his rider and Batonbearer Lizzie Brunt around the southern perimeter of the course, with Worcester Athletics Club running ahead of them. The Army will also be staging free family activities at the racecourse.
- 6:42pm – Castle Street
- 6:45pm – University of Worcester City Campus: Reception for the Baton, including speech from the Mayor. Following this, the final Batonbearer will take the Baton to The Arches, where Fiesta will begin.
All timings will be subject to change on the day. The main event times are shown on the attached map.
Among the best places for visitors and residents to stand to watch the Baton travel through the city are High Street, the Riverside, Hylton Road and Worcester Racecourse.
The evening's Fiesta, organised by Severn Arts, will start at 7pm, with the Heavy Beat Brass Band parading from the City Campus, to The Arches. There will then be street performances in the area until 9pm, including music, colourful stilt-walkers, Mexican Day of the Dead figures and dragons.
The Mayor of Worcester, Councillor Adrian Gregson, said: "The arrival of The Queen's Baton Relay in Worcester is a true moment for celebration, allowing all of us to cheer on some amazing local people who will be carrying the Baton. It's very exciting to see such a great programme of fun events being laid on for everyone in our city to enjoy.
"I want to thank everyone who has worked so hard to welcome the Relay to our city and to give our residents a chance to share the excitement of the Commonwealth Games. Special thanks are due to Worcester BID for their sponsorship of the big day."
Road closures orders will be in place along the route before and during the route, with most closed for varying periods of time between 4.30pm and 7pm. Hylton Road, from the retail park to Henwick Road, will be closed from 5.30pm to 8pm, while Cherry Tree Walk, Infirmary Walk and Netherton Court will be closed from midday to 10pm, to allow for the setting up of the reception and the Fiesta evening street celebrations.
Birmingham 2022 is hosting the 16th official Queen's Baton Relay – a journey which brings together and celebrates communities across the Commonwealth during the build-up to the Games. The Relay provides the opportunity for communities to experience the excitement for Birmingham 2022.
The Queen's Baton Relay is travelling the length and breadth of England, before arriving at the Opening Ceremony for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games on 28 July.
Members of the public are encouraged to get involved with the celebrations and embrace the arrival of the Baton, taking the opportunity to experience the buzz of Birmingham 2022 in their community. The Birmingham 2022 website gives more detail on the events and where to line the route.
Thousands of Batonbearers, each with inspiring backgrounds and stories, have been given the honour of carrying the Baton during the journey through England, including those nominated in recognition of their contributions to their local community, whether that be in sport, education, the arts, culture or charity. Between 40 and 130 Batonbearers are carrying the Baton each day, and the Relay will reach hundreds of villages, towns and cities during its tour of the country.
Since its inaugural appearance at the Cardiff 1958 Commonwealth Games, the Queen's Baton Relay has been a tradition for the Commonwealth Games.
The Birmingham 2022 Queen's Baton Relay began at Buckingham Palace on 7 October 2021, when The Queen placed her Message to the Commonwealth into the Baton and passed it to four-time Paralympic gold medallist Kadeena Cox, who had the honour of being the first of thousands of Batonbearers to carry the Baton.
Since then, the Baton has visited Commonwealth nations and territories in Europe, Africa, Oceania, the Americas and the Caribbean