Thousands of people from all over the world will be heading to Wellingborough next weekend to take part in the 34th International Waendel Walk.
More than 1,000 people have already signed up to the prestigious event, with some coming from as far away as Japan and China.
The Waendel Walk, the only event of its kind in the UK, kicks off on the evening of Friday, May 10 with two friendship walks of 5km and 10km, followed by a weekend of different routes ranging from 5km up to a marathon distance 42km.
Event coordinator Julia Wells, from Wellingborough Council, said: “The Waendel Walk is truly an international event and attracts walkers from all over the world. So far we’ve had people register from China, the Netherlands, Germany, Japan, Norway and Ireland, as well as lots of people from much closer to home. This has such a positive effect on our local economy, with hotels, guest houses and shops all getting a big boost in trade.
“We’re expecting more than 5,000 people to take part over the course of the weekend. Everyone enjoys taking part in the walks because not only are they safe and very professionally organised, but we also have stunning countryside that people may not have explored before. Even people from right here in Wellingborough are often still amazed to be walking through the beautiful scenery we have here right here on our doorstep. The Waendel Walk is a perfect opportunity to showcase to people from all over the globe what the borough has to offer.”
A weekend of entertainment is planned alongside the walks, starting with a jazz band at 5pm on the Friday evening, before an opening parade sets off around the town centre at 6.15pm. There will be more live music over the weekend to welcome walkers back to the Castle Theatre, ending in a closing ceremony at 4.30pm on the Sunday where awards will be presented by the Mayor of Wellingborough, Cllr Ken Harrington.
People are still able to register in advance to take part in any of the Waendel Walk activities. Pre-booking is cheaper and helps avoid long queues on the day. It is available online now at www.thecastle.org.uk and will close next Thursday, after which people must register in the main hall of The Castle.
More information about taking part in the Waendel Walk is available by phoning the borough council on 01933 229 777 or visiting www.wellingborough.gov.uk