The only homecoming parade in Norfolk for the Royal Anglian Regiment’s 1st Battalion takes place today
Up to 10,000 people are tipped to line the pavements to watch the troops and accompanying band march through Diss.
The event is expected to run from 12.30pm to 1.15pm, starting at the bottom of Mere Street and ending at the top end of the town centre.
Security will be extremely tight, and road closures will be in place the centre of Diss.
Before the parade, the battalion, nicknamed The Vikings, will get the ‘freedom of the town’. Detailed on a parchment scroll bearing Diss Town Council’s seal, the honour is “a token of remembrance and respect to all men and women of the area who have served or are serving in Her Majesty’s Forces”.
It will give the troops the right to march through the streets “on all ceremonial occasions with drums beating, colours flying and bayonets fixed”.
Following the parade and an inspection in the Market Place, there will be a civic reception at Diss Corn Hall for 350 guests, including the 115 troops and 35 accompanying band members.
Honoured guests will include the Lord Lieutenant of Norfolk, Richard Jewson JP, high sheriff of Norfolk, Henry Cator, colonel of the regiment, PD James, and Diss mayor, Graham Minshull.
Other people invited include representatives from the Royal Anglian Regiment Association, Royal British Legion, Diss Air Cadets, regional councils, and former and current commanding officers of the battalion.
It is suggested people try to be in place along the parade route from noon onwards.
Mere Street, Market Place, Market Hill and St Nicholas Street will be closed to traffic from 8.30am to 2pm, while Roydon Road from Crown Corner to Louie’s Lane will be closed from 8.30am to 3.30pm.
There will be no parking along the entire route, nor in Mount Street as far as Weavers Court, and Lower Denmark Street between Stanley Road and Fair Green’s car park entrance.
Chapel Street will be open to two-way traffic, though.
All South Norfolk Council car parks will be free today, except the Weavers Court car park, which will be restricted to use by invited guests, and the Church Street car park, which will be for disabled use only.
There will be a disabled viewing area on Market Hill, and drivers will be able to drop disabled passengers off there.
For the general public, there will be additional parking at Fair Green and overflow parking at Diss Town Football Club.