WANTAGE Town Council has called on the whole town – and surrounding villages – to join a two-day party which will close the Market Place this summer to celebrate the Queen's 90th birthday.

The council is splashing out some £10,000 on the Royal rumble on June 11 and 12 with live music, a dog show, vintage cream teas, a gin and tonic tent and Wantage Silver Band marching around playing the national anthem wherever possible.

The party will also launch the 20th Wantage Summer Festival – a month-long celebration of arts and performance.

But the council has said "there is always room for more" and invited any local clubs, groups, charities or traders who are not already involved to get in touch and help make the party a weekend to remember.

Town councillor Ben Mabbett, chairman of the organising committee, said: "Her majesty has dedicated her life to public service and we wanted to recognise that fact as a town, celebrating her life and having a jolly good time."

The party will start at midday on Saturday at Manor Road recreation ground, which will be transformed into something like an old-fashioned country fair.

While local bands perform live throughout the afternoon, a dog show will be run by the RSPCA alongside traditional games including a coconut shy, whack-a-rat, a carousel and a Punch and Judy show.

Wantage WI will run a cake stall and traditional English cream teas and cakes will be available until about 6pm.

The party will carry on Sunday in the Market Place, which will be closed to traffic all day.

Live bands will perform on a temporary stage provided by Shush the venue, including local rockers Invisible Vegas, Thunderbird and The Tarantinos, climaxing with a set fit for a Queen from (who else?) Queen tribute act The Bohemians.

Adults can have fun at the licensed bar and gin and tonic tent while kids bounce around on a bounty of inflatables.

Lip-smacking fish and chips will be served by the Happy Plaice van and there will be more entertainment from Icknield Way Morris Men.

Wantage reptile rescue centre Lenny's Lizards will bring along some creepy crawly friends and Millets Farm Falconry Centre will fly in some extra visitors.

And of course, Wantage Silver Band will still be trumping around the town playing the national anthem and one or two other tunes.

A full programme of the weekend's events will be uploaded to the Wantage Summer Festival website wantagesummerfestival.com and posters and fliers will be going up around the town.

Anyone who would like to have an official presence at the party should call Wantage Town Council on 01235 763459.

Queen Elizabeth II became the longest-reigning British monarch in history on September 9, when she surpassed the reign of her great, great-grandmother Victoria.

She will turn 90 on her real birthday, April 21, but the nation and the Commonwealth will celebrate the anniversary on her official birthday in June with what is predicted to be "one of the world's biggest ever street parties".

Councils across the country have set aside millions for the Royal riot, while in Oxfordshire Vale of White Horse District Council will dish out £30,000 in total to towns and villages, with Wantage getting about £7,000 of that, which the town council will top up with its own funds.