FINAL preparations are underway as Ealing prepares to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee this weekend.

A total of 86 applications have been submitted for street parties, with the council again agreeing to waive the fee for most road closures, as it did for last year’s royal wedding.

Celebrations to mark the Queen’s 60-year reign include street parties, thanksgiving services and fancy dress competitions.

Excited members of St Barnabas Church, in Pitshanger Lane, Ealing, are inviting the whole community to join them on Sunday.

Their day will begin with a service of thanksgiving at 10am, followed by a shared picnic , one of thousands of “big lunches” taking place across the country this Sunday.

Hilary Nicholl, one of the organisers, says they expect between 150-200 people, based on the attendance at their royal wedding party last year.

“St Barnabas prides itself on being at the heart of the Pitshanger community and we believe it is hugely important to have somewhere that people of all ages can come together to congregate and celebrate,” she said. “We like to have fun too!

“We had a very successful screening of the royal wedding with a true cross-section of the community in attendance. People in our audience were of every age and all enjoyed coming together to mark an historic occasion.”

For those who don’t want to miss out on the Thames river pageant, the event will also include a live screening of the procession at 2pm.

School children across Ealing have also been involved in celebrating the occasion.

Earlier this month, students from Berrymeade Infants School, Little Ealing Primary School, North Ealing Primary School, St John Fisher Primary RC School and Barbara Speake Stage School produced artwork for an exhibition at Gunnersbury House Museum, on the broad theme of Diamond Jubilee.

The Mayor of Ealing, John Gallagher, joined the pupils at a private viewing of their work, which included portraits of the Queen, as well as a large fabric mural.

The show is open to the public until the end of June and admission is free.

Berrymeade School has also arranged a number of activities to help students and staff get into the party spirit.

This Thursday, they will hold a Diamond Jubilee lunch, when pupils can come to school dressed in red, white or blue, or in fashion from the 1950s to the present day.

A Diamond Jubilee menu will be enjoyed to include the Queen’s favourite of cucumber sandwiches.

Perhaps one of the more unusual events taking place is the lighting of a beacon on Horsenden Hill, the highest point in Ealing, at 10.15pm on Monday.

The beacon will be lit at the same time as more than 4,000 others across the country, as part of a long-standing tradition.

The mayor asked for residents named Elizabeth who were born in Ealing on February 6, 1952 to come forward to help light the flame, but no-one has responded to the appeal.

The Queen will light the final beacon at around 10.30pm in central London.