Leyland all primed to live the American dream

Leyland Festival 2012
Leyland Festival 2012
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A Wild West show, a giant kites spectacular, an African drum and dance display and a performance by the Leyland Morris Dancers are just some of the attractions for this weekend’s American themed Leyland Festival.

This Saturday will see a whole host of community groups and entertainers set up around the town to make this year’s event as big as any you’d expect to see across the pond.

A parade through Hough Lane with floats, dancers, theatre groups and heritage vehicles will kick start the event at 11am, and will lead onto Worden Park via the Leyland Cross and through the main gates. Visitors will then be able to enjoy the festivities from 12 noon across the town centre, the British Commercial Vehicle Museum and the park for the rest of the day.

Highlights at Worden Park include a California surf simulator, a ventriloquist, a Man vs Food competition, a clown show, and a Zumba Hoe Down.

Around the Worden Arts Centre area there will be a USA Cake Bake competition, food demonstrations and tasters, a mini Leyland Live event with musical performances, woodturning demonstrations, and archery and laser tag sessions.

The Walled Garden will also open for the first time since the Brothers of Charity started renovating it, selling plants and fresh produce, and hosting snakes from the USA.

The miniature steam railway will be running and a display of vehicles will be parked up in the park, and throughout the day there will also be trade, food and craft stalls, a children’s funfair, and American fun and games.

Meanwhile, in the town centre, traders will dress up as cowboys in Leyland Market, and shops will be opening their doors for more festival fun, such as a children’s treasure hunt, clogg dancing and candle rolling.

Visitors to this year’s festival are also encouraged to get into the spirit of the American theme by turning up in fancy dress.

Judges will be walking around to spot the best dressed child and adult for the fancy dress competition, which must have a connection to the USA.

At the British Commercial Vehicle Museum on King Street, people can take a look at more trucks and buses from the US, ready for the big American Road Show on Sunday, which is where the idea for the festival theme came from.

A free heritage bus service will be running throughout the day on Saturday, ferrying passengers between Leyland Railway Station, the vehicle museum and Worden Park.

South Ribble Council is also supporting the event by offering free parking throughout the day at all council car parks in the town centre, at Churchill Way, Ecroyd Street, Sumner Street and King Street.

Festival programmes and ‘Fast Track’ entry tickets for Worden Park are now available from shops in Leyland and the Civic Centre in West Paddock.

The programmes, costing £1, give people the chance to win a treasure chest of prizes worth £400, including vouchers for local florists, jewellers, hairdressers, beauty therapists and food establishments.

Entry to Worden Park is £3, children under 16 can get in for free.

- See this week’s Leyland Guardian for a full preview of the festival, with times and locations of all the attractions.