It could be standing room only when Dubbo’s royal guests arrive at Victoria Park in one week.
Dubbo Regional Council is expecting “anything up to 10,000 people” at the Picnic in the Park on October 17 to welcome the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
The event would be the “best opportunity to see Prince Harry”, Dubbo mayor Ben Shields said as he extended an open invitation.
The royal couple’s itinerary in the city also includes a visit to the Royal Flying Doctor Service, a drought-affected farm in the district and a school working to improve the education outcomes of young indigenous students.
The three-hour Picnic in the Park starting at 11.30am will bring the festivities to the recreational heart of the city.
“We are expecting a lot of people but the park has shown in the past that it’s capable of taking thousands of people and I’m sure it can this time as well,” Cr Shields said.
The mayor was not forthcoming about wet weather plans.
“...but look I dare say a lot of locals would probably rejoice with the rain if it was to come on the day,” he said.
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Royal watchers are being urged to do their homework.
Cr Shields advised the key was to “work out beforehand a place to park”, noting parking close to Victoria Park would not be available and road closures would be enforced.
There would be detailed information in the Daily Liberal and there would be an information campaign, he said.
Maps would be placed at key points in the city, there would be bus services and parking would be available at the Dubbo Showground, the mayor said.
Musical performances and food stalls are in the event’s mix, but there are other supplies that might be useful on a spring day in the city.
“It’s nothing formal, wear your comfortable clothes as if you are going out… to a real picnic,” Cr Shields said.
“Make sure you’ve got things like your sunscreen, even bottles of water are a good thing.”
As Cr Shields encouraged “anyone and everyone” to come along to the Picnic in the Park he told of hopes it would be something special, noting the Queen’s visits to Dubbo in 1954 and 1992 were widely recalled by those who had been present.
“I’m also hoping this becomes a memorable event too, that people in a generation’s time are still going to be talking about,” he said.