CELEBRATORY mood is in the air as Moray’s Diamond Jubilee festivities get underway.
People from the area’s largest towns to its smallest villages will gather this weekend as hundreds of events play out to mark 60 years of the Queen’s reign.
Central Elgin is destined to become a feast of colour and spectacle as three days of celebration – including a Motorfun, Street Pageant and more – play out.
Brodie Ross, a member of organisers Elgin Rotary Club, said hours of planning have gone in to make sure it is a celebration to remember.
Tonight (Friday), Elgin Rotary Club’s extensive Jubilee programme starts with a marquee concert in Cooper Park featuring youngsters from across Moray.
Elgin’s town centre and Cooper Park will then host a mass pageant, getting underway at 11.30am on Saturday, followed by a Jubilee lunch.
Entertainment and games will follow in the park, before an evening concert at 7pm.
Sunday will see the Rotary Motorfun centred on Cooper Park, with vintage vehicles, pirates on the pond, It’s a Knockout, ring entertainment, music, displays and stalls.
The Rotarians are stretching the Jubilee fun into Monday with free access to Moray Leisure Centre’s pool and ice rink for under-11s, a free film show for over-60s at Moray Playhouse, and climaxing at 10.30pm with the lighting of a beacon on Ladyhill.
Rotarian Brodie Ross said about 150 people had been setting up the park in preparation for the weekend’s festivities.
"Rotary has put in a lot of work to make sure it is a big success. We are certain it will be; the weather looks as though it is going to be fine, and there are attractions to suit young and old alike," he said.
Mr Ross added that Saturday’s pageant promised to be "spectacular".
"There will see six Stagecoach buses taking part, one from each decade from the Queen’s reign provided to us by Sir Brian Souter. There are four horse-drawn coaches, there is a Bentley car, representatives from various youth organisations and schools, pipe bands, motorbikes – it really will be a memorable sight coming along the High Street," he said.
On Sunday, the classic cars will be flagged off from Glen Moray Distillery car park at 11am to drive the 36-mile route to Cooper Park, via Dallas, Forres, Hopeman and Duffus. A stop-over is planned at Johnstons of Elgin before the cars go on show in the park from 1pm.
Motorcycles will assemble at the new Elgin Academy car park from 11am, and at 11.45am a cavalcade, organised and led by David Brown, will proceed through Bishopmill to re-group in the Cooper Park.
The Motorfun Show ’n’ Shine 2012 at Cooper Park promises to be the biggest event ever, with the widest range of amazing cars and owners.
Meetings have been held with the police, BEAR Scotland and Moray Council for road closures and diversions, for which signs will be in place.
It promises to be one of the biggest weekends Elgin has seen in years, and main sponsor for it is the Robertson Group.
For full details of all the jubilee events across Moray see 'The Northern Scot'.