The much-anticipated Leyland Festival will take place across the town this weekend, and will go ahead come rain or shine.
Plans have been put in place to make the three-day event as visitor-friendly as possible, even in the event of a downpour.
It has taken nine months to organise, with more attractions than ever being arranged to help bring the festival back to its high standards from days gone by.
Stephen Bullock, chair of the Leyland Festival Committee, said: “We really want to assure people that all of the events will be going ahead, whatever the weather.
“A few of the festivals were cancelled years ago because of bad weather ruining things, but we’ve put a lot of weather-proofing in place to make sure it’s still a great weekend.
“We are keeping our fingers crossed for some sun, but we’ve made sure that everything is accessible on hard standing flooring, so that people don’t have to walk across the grass on Worden Park of it’s muddy and wet.
“All of the stalls will be next to the concrete walkways, and the main arena on the park has a floor made from specialist material.”
One of the many highlights of this year’s event is the return of floats in the parade, which have made a welcome comeback after feedback from the public showed they were in demand.
Ten were made available for groups to use in the procession, and Stephen is pleased that nine have been snapped up.
“It’s really great,” he said. “I think people will be really pleased to see floats in the parade, and we have a few more surprises planned in the town as well.”
A host of heritage vehicles from the British Commercial Vehicle Museum will feature in the procession, which starts at noon from the Churchill Way car park, and goes down Hough Lane, Towngate, St Andrew’s Way and Worden Lane towards the park.
There will be full road closures from noon until 1pm, and there will also be bands and possibly a 100-strong group of motorcyclists taking part.
New to this year’s festivities is live music in the town centre on the parade day, as well as a special treasure hunt around the shops.
Stephen said: “People really should start getting into Leyland from about 9.30am, because there’s going to be so much going on.
“People can take part in the treasure hunt by speaking to any of the participating shops, and there will be live music in the town from 11am, with a stage and a DJ.
“I don’t want to spoil the surprise, but it’s going to be loud in the Leyland that day – that’s all I can say about that for now.”
One of the main objectives is for people to walk around the whole of the town to make the most of the weekend, with events also planned at the vehicle museum on King Street and the South Ribble Museum and Exhibition Centre on Church Road.
Stephen added: “We want tens of thousands of people to come to this.
“If this doesn’t put Leyland on the map, I don’t know what will!”
Dance displays, arts and craft stalls, cake-making competitions, a dog show and a celebration of ice-cream are just some of the attractions taking place on Worden Park on Saturday and Sunday during the day.
There will also be performers at venues across the town on Friday night and Saturday night, as part of the new Leyland Live music festival.
“There’s really no reason for people not to come to the festival this year,” Stephen said. “It’s great that people are responding well to the amount of effort the committee has put in to organising this, but we really do need the support financially as well.
“It’ll cost £5 on the day to get into Worden Park, and wristbands for Leyland Live are £5 each, so I really hope people put their hands in their pockets to back what we’re doing.
“Some of the money goes to charity, and the rest goes towards funding next years’ festival.”
Tickets to Worden Park (which cost £3 for one day or £5 for both days if bought in advance), can be bought from:
South Ribble Council, Civic Centre, West Paddock
British Commercial Vehicle Museum, King Street
APC Overnight Ofﬁce, Aston Way, Moss Side
Bean Drinking, Hough Lane
Poppys Flower Design, Hough Lane
Coppers Tea Rooms, Golden Hill
Roccoco Coffee Lounge and Bakery, Chapel Brow
Matteﬁnish Photography, Towngate
Paces and Laces, Towngate
Whittakers Butchers, Leyland Market
Fox Lane Fabrics, Leyland Market