A festival to brighten the day!

PHOTO : DAVID HURST'Garstang Childrens Festival.'Liz Thornton and Tom from Winmarleigh School
PHOTO : DAVID HURST'Garstang Childrens Festival.'Liz Thornton and Tom from Winmarleigh School

THE umbrellas may have been up during the morning procession - but the sun shone in the hearts and smiles of the hundreds of youngsters who braved the drizzle during Garstang Children’s festival on Monday.

Determined organisers pressed ahead with the festival plans despite gloomy skies above.

And even though the morning crowds were perhaps fewer in number than usual, those who did line the streets witnessed one of the best parades in years, not least in terms of the imagination which local schools, groups and individuals put into their float entries

After the crowning of new queen Paige Hurst by outgoing queen Hayley Phillips, the parade began, led by Sgt Danielle Freaney.

Next came Garstang’s morris dancers creating a colourful spectacle in their red white and blue uniforms.

Pilling Band was the first of several to provide music on the march, closely followed by the festival banner, Wyre deputy mayor Coun David Williams and town mayor Lady Dulcie Atkins, town councillors, town trust members and clergy.

Then came the Queens Paige and Hayley, both looking regal, and both with splendid retinues. After them came the visiting queens from Calder Vale, Catterall, Forton, Bilsborrow, Churchtown, Nateby Primary School, St Thomas’s Church, Cockerham, St Michael’s and Barton.

There was admiration for junior members of Garstang Gym Club who braved the wet road surface to do acrobatics and handstands.

Following them were local guides, scouts, brownies, cubs and rainbows and the SS Mary and Michael soccer players.

Then came the SS Mary and Michael’s native American Indian group’s ‘Pow Wow,’ Garstang Primary School’s Harry Potter team and St Thomas’s School’s Peter Pan group.

Cock Robin Pre-school’s adopted Peter Rabbit’s garden for its theme, while an entry from Winmarleigh had a Disney theme.

An entry from ‘Belle’ had a summer holiday atmosphere, while Kirkland Bridge Nursery chose Snow Wite as its entry.

Joseph and his Dreamcoat was the choice of St Michael’s CE school, while Little Ducklings Nursery chose a farm/country produce topic. There were laughs for Hummingbird’s Strictly Come Dancing entry, and admiration for the Jelly Beans pre-school’s Sweets theme.

Fireman Sam was the theme for Kiddies’ Day Nursery, while Rainbow Pre-School presented a coloured pencils / Crayola float.

Garstang Pre-School float was on the theme ‘under the sea’, while Bleasdale CE chose a farm theme.

One of the most ambitious floats was entered by Claughton St Mary’s School (entering for the first time) with Noah’s Ark and impressive model giraffe and elephant heads.

It was a case of ‘on yer bikes’ or rather planes for Garstang Gators and their Dambusters idea, while Stepping Stones pre-school chose a pirate theme.

Bringing up the rear was local environmental clean-up character ‘King Cann’ and the festival float.

• The weather improved in time for the evening parade which went ahead with brighter skies.