MORE than 120 soldiers and a marching band are to parade through a market town to launch a borough's Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

The 1st Battalion of the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment supported by the British Army Band Catterick will march through Clitheroe centre on Tuesday May 24.

The rousing event will herald the start of Ribble Valley’s celebrations marking 70 years since her Majesty Queen Elizabeth acceded to the throne.

The Queen is the Duke of Lancaster and Ribble Valley Borough Council awarded Freedom of the Borough to the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment in 2011.

The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment will march through the town centre to Market Place, where they will be presented to Ribble Valley Mayor Stuart Hirst, before a church service and civic reception.

Ribble Valley Borough Council leader Stephen Atkinson said: “The opportunity for a Freedom parade rarely arises and this exciting event will honour the brave men and women who have served and continue to serve our country.

“The Freedom of the Borough parade in 2011 attracted thousands of spectators and we are looking forward to giving the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment another rousing Ribble Valley welcome.

“This year’s parade is particularly poignant, as the Queen is the Duke of Lancaster and the parade heralds the start of the borough’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.”

Brigadier Frazer Lawrence, Colonel of the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, said: “The regiment has long and close association with Ribble Valley, which was marked by the granting of its Freedom in 2011.

“We cherish these links and it is an honour and a privilege for us to exercise our Freedom by marching through the borough.”

The parade will start a series of events in Ribble Valley marking the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, including a beacon-lighting at Clitheroe Castle and the planting of 70 trees.