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Get into character for the Leyland Festival

Mad Hatter was mad for a top hat
Mad Hatter was mad for a top hat
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Leyland town centre could be going Mad for it this summer.

For World Books will be the theme of this year’s Leyland Festival, it has been announced.

Folk are being asked to dress up as book characters of all kinds for the parade on the day - Saturday, June 16.

Suggestions have already included some of the weird and wonderful characters featured in Alice in Wonderland - such as the Mad Hatter, for example.

World Book Day took place on Thursday, March 1.

Tony Harrison, chairman and treasurer of the Leyland Festival committee, urged the town to really get into the spirit of the theme, just as they did last year when the theme was the Movies.

A move theme float from the Leyland Festival 2017.

A move theme float from the Leyland Festival 2017.

He said: “They can be any characters from the World Books theme. We’re giving people the opportunity to be inventive, whether that be a walking participant or on the floats.

“We had about fifteen floats last year and are looking to increase that this year.

“The whole event is targeted at families and last year we had about 12,000 people on the park. We’re looking for that to be bigger and better this year.

“It’s been running now for about eight years as its new format, having died off twenty years ago due to a lack of support. We need the support of the local people.

“We will be speaking to local community groups, businesses and schools. At the end of the day it’s their festival. We’re a small committee making it happen.”

Martin Carlin, of the Leyland Town Team, said: “Again it’s tying it in with the children. We’re just trying to keep that going.

“It’s dressing up on the day as whatever character. By saying world books, it can be anything, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Alice in Wonderland.”

He added; “It’s just fantastic. It’s going to be a good day again. It’s a proud moment to be involved again as the town team.

“Hopefully we’ll have a good following on the day again, a record number of people. The number of people on the park was up.”

Tony continued: “One of the main things we’re looking for is volunteers. To be able to run the event takes about eighty volunteers.

“We’re looking for people who are prepared to give up one or two hours of their time to man the gates and collect money on the gates.”

The event is being jointly organised by the Leyland Festival Committee, South Ribble Borough Council, and Events Live.

Councillor Phil Smith, cabinet member for regeneration and leisure at the council, said: “Leyland Festival is the standout event of our summer and that’s why we work so hard to make sure it’s a huge success.

“Planning is already well underway and now we need everyone to help spread the word, and for local businesses and charities to contact us to be involved.

“Make sure you’re free on 16 June! It’s sure to be a wonderful festival, whatever age you are, and whatever takes your fancy on the day - there’ll be plenty to choose from! We look forward to welcoming you all.”

Entry is £3 adult, free for children under 16.

Folk are invited to buy tickets early through Skiddle, at £2.50 each, therefore saving 50p a ticket

The event will start on Worden Park at 10.30am. The parade will go through the town about noon to 1pm and the festival finishes at 5.30pm.

There will be a host of attractions from sports, games, dog shows, stalls and food.

The parade will start from Centurion Way, go along Preston Road, Hough Lane, Towngate and to the park.

There will be street entertainment in the town.

Bookings are now being taken for the stalls with an appeal to South Ribble’s businesses and charities to join in with the fun and help make the festival even bigger and better than ever before.

Contact Events Live by emailing hello@eventslive.co.uk<mailto:hello@eventslive.co.uk> and register your interest.