YORK residents are grabbing a golden opportunity to celebrate 50 years of the Queen's reign this Bank Holiday weekend.

People from York will be joining events in the city and around the country as the nation marks the historic occasion.

Army veteran John Hudson, from Wheldrake, will march on behalf of the Royal Army Pay Corps, at the Queen's Golden Jubilee parade in London on Tuesday.

More than 20,000 people from military and civilian organisations are involved in the Royal spectacular, which starts from Horse Guards Parade.

He said: "It's a big honour to be asked to march.

"We used to get our legs pulled for being pen-pushers, but we still had to do full military training."

Fellow veteran, Ryedale pensioner Henry Flintoft has completed his jubilee medal collection with a Golden Jubilee medal for his efforts nearly 60 years ago.

In 1944 Mr Flintoft, of Pickering, saved a farmer from being gored by a bull, by grabbing and holding on to its nose ring until help came.

The Edward medal he received at Buckingham Palace was exchanged for the George Cross in 1972. He was also given a Silver Jubilee medal in 1977.

Meanwhile, York's Elvis impersonator Eddie Vee will swap his rhinestone jumpsuit for a dapper two-piece when he takes to the stage as Buddy Holly. Instead, Bill Mercer will don The King's attire for a Jubilee-inspired performance at Acorn RL Club on Sunday night.

The free party will include 14 acts, with Anne Moncaster playing Patsy Cline, event organiser Bill Blackburn becoming Roy "Chubby" Brown and Fat Les portrayed by Peter Russell.

The event starts at the club in Thanet Road, Acomb, at 7.30pm

City of York council is staging Party In The Park at Hull Road Park and West Bank Park as an alternative to street parties.

As well as an afternoon of live music in each of the two parks there will be a range of other entertainment including stilt walkers and flag and monster making for children.

The live music in each park also has a something-for-everyone appeal with funk and soul, rock and roll, world music, jazz, a barber shop quartet, punk rock.

Bands performing at Hull Road Park include Transglobal Drummers, Sevenball and Ron Burnett's Mardi Gras Jazz Band.

Bands at West Bank Park include Vocal Gentry, Colour of Fire and The Preachers.

Updated: 11:26 Saturday, June 01, 2002