PICTOU – Organizers of Monday’s royal visit are doing their best to ensure its not royal chaos.
The Town of Pictou is getting the ultimate spring cleanup with potholes patched, lines repainted, handicapped spots clearly marked and plans in place for street closures for the hour-and-a-half visit by Prince Charles and his wife Camilla on Monday afternoon.
During a recent Pictou town council meeting, it was noted by the public works department that such cleanup would take place before the visit and that it would be at no extra expense since it needed to be done anyway.
The town has issued road advisories for Monday with no vehicles allowed south of Water Street from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. unless authorized.
There will also be no parking along the south side of Water Street from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and no parking allowed on Church Street from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Parking is allowed on all cross streets between Water and Church streets. Coleraine Street will be closed between Front Street and Caladh Avenue from 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., but vehicles can be parked at the front of the CN Station, former municipal building on Willow Street, Willow Street, George Street and east of Ricky Sutherland Ball Field.
RCMP will be working their federal, provincial and municipal partners to provide security for the royal couple the entire time they are in the town.
Anne Emmett, chair of the Hector Quay Society, said the Quay is also getting a “full-out spring cleaning” which includes some gravel patchwork, painting, windows washed and new plants.
“It’s a major spring cleanup,” she said, adding the work would have taken place for its season opening on May 20, but it’s been taken up a notch for the royal visit.
She said about 300 people will be inside the Quay to view Prince Charles and Camilla as they walk through the site.
A royal invitation hotline was set up last week during which time people interested in acquiring an invitation were asked to call a hotline and leave their name which would then would be passed on to the royal organizing committee.
She said Quay volunteers have nothing to do with who gets an invitation to stand inside the Quay.
However, she did mention that the approximate 300 people allowed into the site will also include dignitaries, media, the royal entourage and other invited guests such as The Black Watch, Nova Scotia Highlanders and local cadets.
She said there will also be a few exhibitors on site while John Meir will be conducting the official tour of the site.
In addition to activity inside the Quay, the public might also be able to catch a glimpse of the couple as they walk along Caladh Avenue before entering the Quay grounds. Highland dancers and bagpipers will be positioned on Caladh Avenue to welcome the couple as they do their walkabout.
“It’s all very complicated with the security and protocol,” she said, “but we are very happy to do it and it’s a great opportunity.”
She said board members associated with the Quay will be introduced to Prince Charles and Camilla inside the Quay before they head outside to the front of the building to unveil a plaque to commemorate their visit.
Following this, they will cross the street to the Pictou County RCMP detachment for photos before returning to the Trenton airport for their flight to Prince Edward Island.