Next festival to be packed into one day

Crowds at this year's Leyland Festival procession
Crowds at this year's Leyland Festival procession

Next year’s Leyland Festival will be a one-day event, rather than a full weekend, the Guardian can reveal.

The new chairman of Leyland Festival Committee, Howerd Booth, has decided to pack as much of this year’s top attractions into one day for next year’s event, because not many people turned out for the second day this year.

He said: “Around 11,500 people came to the festival, but it was much more popular on the Saturday than it was on the Sunday.

“Next time, we’re going to arrange for the town centre parade to start earlier in the day, so that the Saturday lasts even longer, and just have everything going ahead on that one day.”

The festival will see the return of the most popular attractions from last month’s event, including community floats and heritage vehicles in the procession, live music at Worden Park, and the annual dog show.

“The dog show is the heart of it all for me,” Howerd said. “So that will definitely be on the agenda. The ice-cream celebration was new this year, and that was a massive hit, so we’ll be looking to create something similar to that, and the Man-Zone was also sold out, so that’s likely to make a return in some form or another.”

Despite a few mishaps after the festival was cancelled in July because of bad weather, September’s event raised £25,000 for local charities, including the British Commercial Vehicle Museum and Leyland’s Rotary Club, which will distribute the funds to various organisations.

The date for next year’s one-day event is June 15.

Howerd also revealed that Leyland Trucks will be launching the sixth generation of trucks at the festival.

“We have a lot in the pipeline,” he said. “But we’re really keen to get more ideas and for people in the community to come forward and join the committee.

“The festival couldn’t go on without volunteers, and we want groups, schools and individuals to back next year’s event to make it the best ever.”

To get on board, contact Howerd on 01772 625441.