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Last Updated: Friday, 2 January, 2004, 13:22 GMT
Glyndwr celebrations unveiled
Owain Glyndwr's coronation
Thousands of people could descend on Machynlleth in June
Celebrations are being planned this summer to mark 600 years since Owain Glyndwr marched into Machynlleth and was crowned Prince of Wales.

Glyndwr's coronation and the setting up of the first Welsh Parliament at Machynlleth took place in June 1404.

And although the Welsh assembly has yet to organise any festivities, a voluntary organisation has forged ahead with summer celebration plans alongside communities throughout Wales.

Machynlleth has been chosen to provide the centrepiece of year-long celebrations across Wales to mark the anniversary of Glyndwr's coronation as Owain the Fourth.

We believe Welsh towns can copy how other countries promote their historical connections to boost their tourist trade
Sian Ifan, Embassy Glyndwr

The highlight of events throughout Wales will be 'Glyndwr's Nation Weekend' at Machynlleth between 18 and 21 June.

The Machynlleth community will be presented with a ceremonial sword to mark its role in the Welsh warlord's bid for Welsh independence from the English throne.

The celebrations could provide a huge boost to the town's tourism industry if the June festival ignites people's interest.

Events now at the planning stage include a recreation of Glyndwr riding into the town on horseback, a medieval market and the presentation to the town of an exact copy of the sword sent by the French king to mark the coronation.

Embassy Glyndwr, set up in 1999, has liaised with councils across Wales in an effort to promote the anniversary as a tourism winner.

"We are trying to get communities with connections with Glyndwr such as Machynlleth, Harlech and Dolgellau to organise commemorations this year," said Sian Ifan of Embassy Glyndwr.

"We believe Welsh towns can copy how other countries promote their historical connections to boost their tourist trade."

Owain Glyndwr Institute
The sword could be kept at the Owain Glyndwr Institute

Ms Ifan criticised the Welsh assembly for showing little interest in the 600th anniversary celebrations.

"We have bombarded them with ideas and packages for marking this anniversary and it is very disappointing they have not had the foresight to organise anything," she said.

Ms Ifan hopes that during Glyndwr's Nation Week, schools will organise outings to the Machynlleth area to visit Machynlleth-based Owain Glynwr Institute, Celtica and Glyndwr's church at Pennal.

Machynlleth town council clerk John Parsons said members had this week decided to back Embassy Glyndwr's ideas for the June celebrations.

"This could be a welcome boost to the town's economy and bring a lot of visitors to the town," he added.

"It will be a great honour to receive a ceremonial sword which we could keep in the Owain Glyndwr Institute where the town council meets."

An assembly spokesman said: "We are currently considering the options for celebrating this significant date in Welsh history."

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