BIG crowds are expected to turn out to see the Queen's Baton when it arrives in Maldon.

A free festival, funded by the National Lottery is being hosted by Maldon District Council to celebrate the arrival of the Queen's Baton Relay.

The Queen's Baton will pass through Maldon Promenade Park on Friday, July 8 at about 12.30pm.

The Baton starts on Friday in Gravesend through Basildon and Southend-on-Sea before arriving in Maldon.

After Maldon, the baton will make its way to Waltham Cross, Luton and Hemel Hempstead.

The celebration at Promenade Park will begin at 11am until the evening with over 35 stalls focusing on health, wellbeing and fun.

There will also be live music, street food and a selection of games, sports and activities to take part in throughout the day.

Ten official baton-bearers will carry the Queen's Baton around the lake and to the statue of the Saxon hero, Byrhtnoth.

After carrying the Baton around the two-kilometre course, the baton-bearers will finish their stop on the UFest stage.

The 294 day relay to the 72 nations and territories of the commonwealth is in preparation of the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth games taking place from July 28 until August 8.

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The Queen’s Baton Relay began in October, 2021 and hopes to ignite hope, solidarity and collaboration in the commonwealth.

Councillor Penny Channer, Leader of Maldon District Council, said; “UFest, which will be held in Maldon’s Promenade Park, will feature activities, stalls and events for the whole community, focusing on health, wellbeing and fun.

“The event is being held on the Friday so we can welcome the Queen’s Baton Relay, but I hope residents will still try to pay a visit later in the day, or evening and enjoy this free event.

“Activities will begin at 11am and run through into the evening with a stage line-up of musicians and entertainment, a food stalls and a Community Marquee with local organisations, sports clubs, schools and businesses offering fun engagement activities for everyone to enjoy you can find our more at UFest - Visit Maldon District.”