The circus is in town for Leyland Festival!

Fun skills: The Sensible Circus is coming to Worden Park this weekend
Fun skills: The Sensible Circus is coming to Worden Park this weekend

A big-top family circus is coming to Worden Park this weekend, as part of the Leyland Festival.

The original two-day festival was rescheduled after downpours left parts of the park flooded back in July, but organisers have used the extra time to add some new attractions.

The event will now go ahead on Saturday and Sunday, September 22 and 23, and promises to be even bigger and better than before.

The fun starts with a parade of floats and vintage vehicles through the town from 12 noon on Saturday.

The procession will head along Hough Lane, Towngate and Leyland Cross, finishing on Worden Lane.

There’s also a whole host of entertainment over the weekend on Worden Park, including:

- South Ribble Bake Off – a competition to find a Leyland Cake on Saturday, and a Funbake contest on Sunday

- An ice cream celebration, with tastings and a competition

- Leyland Festival Queen presentation on Saturday

- A Manzone, featuring an army assault course and penalty shoot-out

- Craft and trade stalls throughout the park

- Free children’s arts activities at Worden Arts Centre

- Paws in the Park dog show and stalls

- Heritage vehicle displays

- Dance and music performances

- Traditional fun sports (such as egg and spoon and sack races) on Sunday

In addition, festival-goers can enjoy comedy circus performances and circus skills, join in free Zumba sessions and watch dazzling displays of giant kites by members of the Northern Kite Group (Saturday only).

Children’s author Tilly Walker will give readings of her popular Steeplejack Fred book series at the British Commercial Vehicle Museum over the weekend.

And people will be able to get a free health ‘MOT’ at Leyland’s first-ever Health Mela, which is being held at the Civic Centre, West Paddock, on Saturday from 11am to 6pm.

The event is being organised by the Rotary Club of Leyland and Lancashire Gujarat Health Users Forum.

Coun Phil Smith, South Ribble Council’s cabinet member with responsibility for regeneration, leisure and healthy communities, said: “I’m really pleased that the festival is going ahead this weekend. The council and our friends on the Leyland Festival Committee have been working hard to make this year’s event the best ever.

“Like everyone else, I was very disappointed that the festival was postponed in July, but we’ve used the extra time to add even more attractions, so I’m sure it will be well worth the wait and I hope as many residents as possible will be supporting this annual event.”

Visitors can get to all the festival venues by hopping on a free vintage bus running around the town every 20 minutes, from the railway station to King Street, Civic Centre (Saturday only) and Worden Park.

A Park and Ride service will be operating at Enterprise, off Centurion Way (Post Code: PR26 6TX), on Saturday because Runshaw College car parks are unavailable due to another event.

For bakers, there’s still time to enter the Leyland Cake competition, sponsored by Glover’s Bakery.

Judges will include Philippa James, Lancashire Life food editor, and the winning recipe will be produced commercially by Glover’s and go on sale in their shops.

Entry forms are available at www.visitleyland.co.uk or email festival@southribble.gov.uk.

Tickets and festival programmes giving full details of all the events, venues and times are now on sale at outlets throughout Leyland.

Festival tickets cost £3 per adult in advance, or £5 on the day.

A special weekend ticket for both Saturday and Sunday is available at £5 in advance. Children aged 16 and under are free.

Tickets bought in July for the Leyland Festival will be accepted for the new dates.

- Send your Leyland Festival photos to guardian.newsdesk@lep.co.uk