Party underway in Daniel’s home town

Saturday’s wedding festivities got off to an early start in Daniel Westling’s home town of Ockelbo, 200 kilometres north of Stockholm, where visitors were treated to a free breakfast at Wij Gardens.

The small town’s residents rose early and are expected to celebrate long into the night as a local boy becomes a prince. Westling’s meteoric rise to royal prominence came after he moved to Stockholm and opened a luxury gym, where he met his bride-to-be Crown Princess Victoria in 2002.

“It feels like Christmas Eve. There’s a wonderful atmosphere and look how many people have already gathered here,” said Malin Eriksson, managing director of Wij Gardens.

Annika Blomquist took a walk to the gardens with her partner Johan Persson and children Herrman and Tyra.

“We’ve waited so long for this, so it’s good to come along and enjoy it all day.

“It’s hard to grasp the significance of a lad from here becoming Prince of Sweden. From now on Ockelbo will be on the map in a whole different way,” she said.

But locals are not the only ones celebrating in the town: organisers expect 10,000 to 15,000 people to join the party in a municipality with a population of just 6,000.

By Friday the local camping site was already full to capacity, while cars and rail passengers streamed into the town on Saturday morning.

“All tickets have been sold to this evening’s gala performance and so far the celebrations have lived up to all expectations,” said project manager Monica Järnkvist.

And organisers are not in the least bit worried about coping with the crowds of people keen to share in the revelry.

“We know all about logistics. Ockelbo market, which has taken place the week after midsummer for the last 30 years, brings in 500 traders and attracts 150,000 visitors for the three days the market runs,” said Järnkvist.

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