Celebrity retail guru Mary Portas will launch a programme of cultural events in Watford town centre as part of the opening of the new-look Parade.

Live music and theatre performances, including one involving inflatable plants, will accompany the opening of the area on Friday, June 20.

The event will mark the completion of the £4.3 million renovation of The Parade, which has been taking place over the last year.

Among the improvements has been the de-cluttering of the top end of the pedestrianised street so it can be used for cultural events.

The opening ceremony will usher in an extended programme of events stretching into next August that will include a big family sports day, dance performances of fairytales and big screen showings of classic films.