The flags and bunting are going up, the food is organised and Gwent is set for all the pomp and ceremony of a right royal knees-up, as WILL BAIN reports.

PARTIES across the region will create a bank holiday bonanza to celebrate 60 years since Elizabeth II ascended to the throne.

In Monmouthshire, around 4,000 people are expected to flock to Caldicot Castle and country park on Monday.

The free all-day extravaganza will include stalls, a funfair, firework display, a baking competition and local dance groups.

Entertainment starts at 2pm with the Galaxy cheerleaders, a choir including West End, Castle Park and Green Lane school pupils, the Caldicot Crusaders marching band among those performing.

There will also be a special performance from Caldicot’s musical theatre group, who have sought permission to sing the official Jubilee song written by Gary Barlow and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

In Chepstow, 60 number-one hits representing each year of the Queen’s reign will be sung on the Riverside bandstand. Singers range from 16-70 and residents are urged to bring picnics to The Diamond Discs Hit Parade, which starts at 1pm on Tuesday.

Visitors to Abergavenny can watch a parade from the castle to the Brewery Yard on Saturday and get involved with a community fun day at Bailey Park on Tuesday.

Monday will see a gas beacon lit at ChepstowRugby Club. Stalls, a barbecue, hog roast and music by Disco Dave will get the celebrations off to a flying start at noon.

In Blaenau Gwent, Jubilee Tea will be served at Beaufort Ballroom on Friday, June 8, at 3pm. Visitors can enjoy an afternoon of musical entertainment, with pianist and vocalist Ross Leadbeater, who will be performing a selection of classics from the West End and from the music hall. Tickets are £5 and include a welcoming glass of sparkling wine, followed by a light tea.

On Sunday the Tredegar Town Band will be in the bandstand at Bedwellty House and Park to celebrate the jubilee as well as the bandstand’s own centenary.

Revellers in Torfaen will celebrate the monarch’s landmark with a raft of events.

In Newport, MP Jessica Morden will open the jubilee fete, aptly held at Jubilee Gardens, where party-goers can enjoy a bouncy castle, stalls, entertainment and refreshments fromnoon until 4pm on Tuesday.

One of the highlights of the weekend looks set to be the lighting of the Ridgeway beacon.

On the eve of the great day itself the beacon at Alltyr- yn will become one of 4,000 beacons lit around the UK to herald the jubilee.

The 1st Rogerstone scout band will lead a procession of dignitaries, including the Lord Lieutenant of Gwent, up to the four-metre-plus beacon shortly before 10pm, when Lord Lieutenant Simon Boyle will light it.

Those attending can bring their own picnics, or food stalls will be available, while musical acts ranging from jazz and pop to a harp player will entertain the crowds from 7.30pm on Monday.

Similarly, beacons will be lit at Folly Tower in Pontypool and at Balls Pond, near Keepers Road, in Blaenavon.

In Caerphilly borough, Pontywaun Park and Risca Park are hosting parties.

Pub flies the flag in true Brit style

IT IS perhaps the most patriotic pub in Britain.

The Rock, in Blackwood, has gone all out to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee with the bar, ceilings, flowers and even the garden decking adorned in red, white and blue for the big day.

Hanging baskets outside the pub in Tredegar Road have gone red, white and blue, while manager Paul Taylor has been on his hands and knees painting the pub’s decking for more than 20 hours to have the garden in the colours of the Union Flag.

Flags are up on the walls and across the roof of the pub, and there are even flags on the bar for enthusiastic punters to wave.