THE presents have been unwrapped, the Christmas dinner is a distant memory and now all thoughts are turning to the New Year.
It may have been a tough 12 months with lots of economic doom and gloom – but Derbyshire folk have plenty to be cheerful about in 2012.
Community-minded residents are to come together to mark the Queen’s diamond jubilee with bustling street parties and patriotic celebrations up and down the county.
Young and old will mark the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s reign over a bumper four-day weekend starting on Saturday, June 2 and culminating on Tuesday, June 5 – an extra bank holiday.
Just weeks later there will be even more merriment when Derbyshire towns and villages are thrust into the international spotlight as the Olympic Torch stops off in the region in a once-in-a-lifetime event.
The iconic flame will be carried through Glapwell, Bolsover, Calow, Chesterfield, Matlock, Darley Dale and Bakewell on Friday, June 29, as it journeys across the UK in the run-up to the London 2012 Olympics.
In a highly-anticipated concert, Rocket Man Elton John will blast down at Chesterfield’s stunning B2net Stadium on Saturday, June 9 – a massive coup for the buzzing town.
The gig will give sell-out crowds the chance to see the hitmaker behind classics like Rocket Man, I’m Still Standing, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road and Candle in the Wind.
And if you’re after some good economic news, leading retailer Debenhams will come to Chesterfield in a much-heralded move set to create hundreds of new jobs.
The new store will be located on the old Focus unit at the Ravenside Retail Park and is expected to open next autumn, creating about 200 new jobs.
Business leader George Cowcher, chief executive of Derbyshire chamber of commerce, said: “It’s been another challenging year for local business – but there have been plenty of successes as well and we should be looking ahead to 2012 with confidence.
“The local economy is set to benefit from a number of high-profile events next year – everyone can look forward with optimism.”
• What are your hopes for 2012? Email email@example.com.