HUNDREDS of people gathered in the centre of Wrexham on Saturday to enjoy a host of activities as part of the proclamation ceremony welcoming the National Eisteddfod of Wales to the town next year.

The Gorsedd of the bards, schoolchildren and community leaders were among those who took part in a spectacular procession, enjoyed by a delighted crowd.

There was a busy performance stage showcasing talented performers throughout the day.

Numerous activities had been laid on, including trampolining, a climbing wall, and face-painting. Organisers say it was a day for the whole family and a taster of what will be in store next year when one of the world’s greatest cultural festivals is held locally.

This year’s event was of particular significance, as the new archdruid, Jim Parc Nest, was officially enthroned by his deputy, Selwyn Iolen.

The proclamation was his first responsibility as archdruid. Eisteddfod organiser Hywel Wyn Edwards said: “We had a very successful day in Wrexham, with a great welcome, tremendous co-operation and wonderful weather. It was excellent to see so many local people joining us to show their support for the Eisteddfod. I would like to thank everyone for their support, the local committees for all their work and commitment, and with the list of competitions now published, I’d like to wish good luck to everyone thinking of taking part .

“And 2011 will be very special for us at the National Eisteddfod as we will be celebrating 150 years in our current form. I know that the Wrexham area is excited and looking forward to hosting what will be an important Eisteddfod.

“However, our focus now returns to south east Wales and to Blaenau Gwent and the Heads of the Valleys, where this year’s Eisteddfod will be held."