THE day that Wigan has been waiting for is almost upon us.
On Saturday the town’s fantastic new Youth Zone will finally open, with an action-packed day of events at the spectacular new facility.
The multi-million pound centre on Parson’s Walk, which promises to revolutionise the opportunities offered to the town’s youngsters, will be unveiled with a lavish and star-studded opening ceremony.
The Youth Zone, which provides a huge range of art and sporting facilities for young people, will throw open its doors after a parade through the centre of Wigan and a fun day at Mesnes Park.
The FA Cup will take pride of places in the ceremonies, while the three millionaire philanthropists who came up with the idea for the Youth Zone, Latics chairman Dave Whelan and Bill and Martin Ainscough, will arrive at the completed building in a horse-drawn carriage.
The ceremony will start in Mesnes Park with activities including an inflatable assault course and paintball range and football challenges as well as arts and crafts. Wiganers will also be able to register as new Youth Zone members.
The procession will then make its way through the town centre to the Youth Zone, opposite Wigan and Leigh College, accompanied by a brass band and young people wearing themed T-shirts.
The founder patrons of the Youth Zone will then cut the ribbon to the Youth Zone at 4pm, before opening the doors to allow Wiganers inside to take part in their first activities.
Wigan Youth Zone director John Harker said: “This will set the tone for what is to come.”
Itinerary for opening day:
The event will start in Mesnes Park at 1pm where there will be numerous activities provided to entertain the general public and young people for two hours prior to the parade.
At 3pm prompt the big parade will proceed through Wigan town centre with a brass band, the FA Cup, young people, staff and the general public, finishing at the front of the Youth Zone main entrance at 4pm for the official opening ceremony. This will be followed by a full evening of events culminating in a fireworks display at around 9.45pm.
The programme of events:
Mesnes Park Activities
There will be a number of activities taking place in the park between 1 - 3pm including a 100ft inflatable assault course, inflatable paint ball range, inflatable football/beat the keeper, bouncy castle and additional games stands.
In the park there will also be two mini marques, one for a reception area and registration of new members. The other for arts/crafts, face painting and balloons for the balloon release before the parade.
Pemberton Brass Band will sit around the new fountain playing throughout. There will also be an engine display from Wigan Fire Brigade.
The Parade will commence at 3pm and will include banners provided by the arts and crafts department and will be designed and made by young people prior to the day.
The parade will finish outside the Youth Zone at approximately 4pm where the Founders will officially open Wigan Youth Zone (Wigan Boys and Girls Club Charity) by cutting the ribbon.
This will be marked by firing confetti cannons into the air as the ribbon is cut. The doors will open to allow as many young people and members of the public as possible into the building and outdoor facilities where young people will have the opportunity to take part in all the activities.
During the first 30 minutes the skate park will be officially opened and a number of professional BMX Riders including Chris Maloney who will christen the park with a full on demonstration.
At approximately 7.15pm the live entertainment begins. There will be live entertainment and dance on and around the stage in the sports hall from JJ Shannon and Lauren Waterworth, and other top artists giving their time for free. There will also be a Battle of the Bands contest featuring the seven successful finalists at approximately 8pm.
The competition is likely to finish at around 9.30pm followed by a grand firework finale.