Thousands are expected to flock to St John’s on Monday for a full programme of Tynwald Day events.

After last year’s subdued ceremony, which was scaled back because of the pandemic, the usual pomp and colour will return, with fairfield stalls and entertainment, and fringe events around the village.

There’s speculation over a potential royal visit but nothing had been confirmed when the Manx Independent went to press.

However, parliamentary proceedings have been delayed by one hour ’for operational reasons’, according to the Clerk of Tynwald’s office.

Because of this, members of the public who want to present a petition for redress of grievance are being asked to meet the clerk at the lychgate beside St John’s chapel at the new time of 11am.

The day has also been used for other political protests in recent years.

The Queen last presided over Tynwald 18 years ago, in 2003, while Princess Anne was the guest of honour in 2008.

The most recent visit to the Isle of Man by a senior royal took place in October 2019 when Princess Anne came to officially open the Market Hall in Douglas and a new extension at the Ramsey Park Hotel.

There will naturally be concern over the risk of Covid-19 being spread in large crowds.

The Clerk of Tynwald’s office has stressed that Covid measures are in place, with all visitors having had their second vaccinations more than two weeks ago.

These include the band of the Royal Air Force College, the guard of honour from the Queen’s Colour Squadron and the fanfare team.

This will be veteran politician Steve Rodan’s last Tynwald as President of the Court and Howard Quayle’s final ceremony as Chief Minister.

Official proceedings get under way at 11.10am with Onchan Silver Band leading the schools parade down the walkway towards the seat of the world’s oldest continuous parliament, followed by the RAF, guard of honour, standard bearers and all the Manx units and organisations.

Mr Rodan said: ’I am delighted that we will be able to have a full Tynwald ceremony this year and am looking forward to being able to celebrate all that makes our island the special place it is, particularly our sense of community which has helped so many of us through the challenges we have faced in recent months.’

Twenty Acts of law will be formally promulgated on Tynwald Hill in a ceremony that’s said to go back more than 1,000 years.

In 1979, the island celebrated Tynwald’s millennium and the fact that it has the world’s longest continuous parliament. The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh visited to mark the occasion.

There’s plenty going on behind the formal scenes and throughout the national day.

A Viking village has been created at Cooil y Ree and is open from 9am.

The back fairfield will be open until 5pm with stalls selling arts and crafts and food. From 10am until 4pm, there’s a global village in the arboretum, promising fun, food and entertainment from around the world.

The Mooinjer Veggey cafe will be open all day with entertainment and workshops for children.

Once the parliamentary proceedings are over, there will be Manx dancing on the green, and music in the chapel with live performances by local harpists and the youth folk group Scran.

Meanwhile, the TynwaldFest tent has a craft workshop running from mid-morning and performances from Gena’s Dance Academy in the afternoon.

The evening entertainment in the tent begins at 5pm with face painting and live music from Biskee Brisht and Retrospect before traditional ceili dancing.

The curtain comes down on the national day with Ellan Vannin Pipes and Drums playing the Manx national anthem on Tynwald Hill and a torchlight light parade.

On the same day the traditional Cronky sports day starts at 2pm on the sports field on the Cronk-y-Voddy straight with sack races, egg and spoon races, obstacle courses, musical sacks, tug of war and dog racing.

The Brian Quirk memorial shield bike race also takes place during the afternoon. Admission is £1, there’s a food marquee and all proceeds go to Alzheimer’s Society Isle of Man.

lIf you’re planning to present a petition for redress of grievance, let us know beforehand. Email [email protected]