The countdown has begun to this weekend's Leyland Festival - as organisers wish away the rain clouds

Adding colour to last year's parade
Adding colour to last year's parade

The countdown has begun - now just give us the sun!

The countdown has begun - now just give us the sun!
This year’s Leyland Festival is just around the corner.
Months of planning and preparation will come to fruition when the much-loved show hits town on Saturday.
This year’s festival theme is Musicals - and folk throughout the community will be dressing up in style to make the event a real explosion of colour as the traditional parade makes its way through town.
Organisers are excited about the appearance of headliner, local lad Kevin Simm, currently lead singer with Wet, Wet Wet.
One of them, Martin Carlin, of Leyland Town Team, said: “This is now my fourth year in being part of the festival, the event has certainly come along way.
“We’ve approached this year’s festival with a different dimension, each committee member has their own role to play. Mine is booking the artists, including our headliner Kevin Simm.
“He was always the first choice before names was offered.
“He’s the right fit for this years event, also being local to the area, he knows what the festival is all about. All our artists are local talent and each one brings something different.
“My job is also to book the bands for the walking procession, this year we have a Samba band, pipe band and a brass band. I’m sure the sun will shine on the day as we expect a record number of people.”
The parade has been a part of Leyland Festival celebrations since it began 130 years ago.
The Popemobile will be a highlight of the parade and will lead the procession with the Mayor and Mayoress of South Ribble on board.

Headline act Kevin Simm

Headline act Kevin Simm

On the parade Samba Espirito samba drumming band will bring a Brazilian carnival spirit.
The parade begins at noon from the McDonalds roundabout end of Hough Lane. It will travel all the way along Hough Lane, onto Towngate, along St Andrew’s Way, onto Church Road and then into Worden Park via Worden Lane, arriving at about 1pm.
Worden Park is the venue for all the entertainment and family activities.
Attractions will include live music, featuring the best local talent and headliner Kevin Simm; the Park Cars Show – the latest supercars plus rare, unique and heritage vehicles; a wide selection of food and drink, including two food courts and two bars; Paws in the Park dog show; sports arena; funfair; trade and community stalls, including crafts, gifts, fancy goods; giant inflatable assault course; artisan producers market; afternoon tea tent and much more.
Leyland-born film and TV actor Mark Strange will make a personal appearance as special guest of Italian car specialist and publisher Enzari.
Festival committee member Martin Stringfellow said: “I am a member of the Leyland Town Team but this is my first year on the Leyland Festival committee.
“Leyland born and bred I have fond memories of the festival over the years and volunteered my services to try and help with the organisation, as the smooth running of the festival, which everyone enjoys on the day, takes a lot of planning right through the year.
“We are hoping for a decent sunny day so you can enjoy all the treats we have lined up for you.”
The afternoon tea in the marquee is one of several fundraisers organised throughout the year by the Team to help raise vital money for the Light Up Leyland Christmas project.
Leyland Festival tickets are just £2.50 in advance or £3 on the day, children 16 and under free.