There’s a world of entertainment planned for this weekend’s Leyland Festival, which is set to be the biggest since the event was revived five years ago.
The day will kick off at 11am this Saturday, June 21, with Morris Dancers and a Jazz band warming up the crowd in the town centre whilst popular children’s characters will on hand to give excited youngsters free balloons.
Then the impressive parade, this year boasting up to 100 different floats, vehicles and community groups, will travel down Hough Lane at midday making its way to Worden Park via Towngate, St Andrew’s Way and Worden Lane.
At the award-wining park, 100 different stalls and pitches have been booked – making it the busiest festival in the last five years.
Attractions will include everything from a funfair to a clown show, balloon sculpting and a vast array of vehicles from vintage cars to replica Italian sports cars.
The main arena will also be busy with talented dance groups from across the area and the ever popular Paws in the Park Dog Show with its own stalls, activities, displays and classes from Tail Tapping Antics.
Over at the Arts and Craft Centre, a packed programme of entertainment will run from 1.30pm with up and coming band The Farthingales, who recently made it to the finals of Last Band Standing at the Manchester Academy, closing the show at 6.30pm.
This year will also see staff from The Railway in Leyland open their ‘pub in the park’ for the first time.
The 2014 festival will boast a worldwide theme to coincide with the World Cup and again at the Arts and Crafts Centre there will be a chance to tuck into food from around the world including Greek, Mexican, French, Spanish, Italian, Asian and Hawaiian.
There will also be a special Children vs Food activity, and people are encouraged to go along in fancy dress.
Coun Phil Smith, South Ribble Council’s cabinet member for regeneration, leisure and healthy communities, said: “Last year saw more than 10,000 people pass through the gates at Worden Park and this year the event looks set to be even bigger and even better.
“The festival raises a lot of vital funds for charity and this year we’ll be supporting the Rosemere Cancer Foundation and Cancer UK, as chosen by the Rotary Club.
“It promises to be a great day out for all the family with something for everyone to get involved with.”
Joanne Worsfold, from the Leyland Festival Committee, added: “The festival’s theme may vary each year but for the committee there is one focus in mind, and that is to make the event a fun, family day out.
“People come for all over to the festival and I know of one man who is travelling from Glasgow to be part of the parade, which is wonderful.
“The festival is a charity event and as well as the committee’s nominated charities, there will be stall holders raising money for their charities too, and this money really does help make a difference locally.
“The new Festival Spirit Fund has helped a number of groups to get involved this year as well.
“We hope that everyone enjoys the day and we ask that you all have fun, stay safe and keep your fingers, toes, arms, legs and eyes crossed for good weather!”
Entry to Worden Park costs £3, with children aged 16 and under going free.
Timetable of events
11am - noon: Leyland Morris Men will perform around the Leyland Market and Market Ale House area; Stone the Crows Morris Men will be outside the Gables pub; and The Blowjangles will be outside Peppermint Cottage and Atkinson’s Jewellers.
Craft, trade, food stalls and the fun fair all open for business at Worden Park, and the Railway’s ‘pub on the park’, food court area and Children vs Food event will kick off around the Arts and Crafts Centre.
Noon: The festival parade begins in the town centre from the British Commercial Vehicle Museum in King Street, and will go along Hough Lane, Towngate, around the Leyland Cross and down Worden Lane towards Worden Park.
12.30pm: The dog show opens in the Paws in the Park arena at Worden Park.
1.20pm: The mayor of South Ribble, Coun Graham Walton, officially opens the festival followed by the presentation of 2014 Leyland Festival Queen in the dance arena.
1.30pm: There will be a special ‘Festival Spirit’ performance from the Double R Arts group in the dance arena, while Charnock Richard Youth Brass Band will perform in Worden Arts Centre.
1.45pm: Sylvia Goff will perform a Brazilian themed dance in the dance arena, and there will be a food demonstration and taster session by Philippa James in the Worden Arts Centre.
Also, ‘Can you beat Rock FM’s Luke Marsden in the ring’ at the Rock FM Bus?
2pm: Truth Dance Company will perform in the dance arena, and Stone the Crows Morris Men will put on a display at Worden Arts Centre.
2pm – 3pm: Taz the Clown Show will be on at the South Ribble Children’s Centre pitch.
2.15pm: Freya Fire Sprite will perform a fire dance in the dance arena, and Wellfield Music Group will be at Worden Arts Centre.
2.30pm: Another ‘Festival Spirit’ performance will be on show by the Double R Arts group in the dance arena, and there will be another chance to experience the food demonstration and taster session with Philippa James in the Worden Arts Centre.
2.45pm: Truth Dance Company will once again perform in the dance arena, and there will be another chance to see if you can beat Rock FM’s Luke Marsden in the ring at the Rock FM Bus.
3.15pm: Sylvia Goff will again perform a Brazilian themed dance in the dance arena, and Stone the Crows Morris dancers will return to Worden Arts Centre.
3.30pm: Diane Oakden will be in the dance arena.
3.45pm: Rock FM’s Luke Marsden will draw Cash for Kids raffle and will let some balloons off for a big race with the Festival Queen at Worden Arts Centre.
4pm: Doug Perkins and The Spectaculars will perform at Worden Arts Centre.
4.40pm: Singer Amy Jo Clough will perform at Worden Arts Centre.
5.20pm: Saraban will perform at Worden Arts Centre.
6pm: The Farthingales will perform at Worden Arts Centre.