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THE streets are bedecked with patriotic bunting and Union flags in preparation for what will be a four-day festival of fun, celebrating both the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and two major community festivals.

The annual Garstang Children’s Festival has been dovetailed to tie up into the programme of royal events, which, linked to both the Churchtown festival and numerous jubilee-themed events, will make for the area’s longest ever bank holiday weekend of fun.

Community leaders, who have been planning the four days for several months, are anticipating that Garstang will celebrate in style, with fun and patriotic fervour.

Garstang’s Diamond Jubilee committee chairman Coun Lady Dulcie Atkins said: “I am sure everyone will enjoy this very special occasion, which is a tribute to our Queen and a festival for all of us.”

Children’s festival chairman Julie Bell said: “The biggest change for the festival committee is that the date has moved due to the change in the Bank Holiday for the Queen’s jubilee celebations.”

She added: “It’s going to be a great celebratory weekend, and we are delighted the festival is going to be part of the weekend’s celebrations.”

Taking a prominent part in many of the events around the town and district will be newly-elected town mayor Coun Sandra Perkins and her mayoress Mrs Gillian Lamb.

The civic duo, known for their sense of fun, are both looking forward to the various celebrations.

Coun Perkins, who has just taken up her role as mayor, said: “What a year it is going to be, with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

“Everyone alive now will never see this event again.”

The fun runs from Friday afternoon to Tuesday afternoon, with a mixture of jubilee and festival-linked events.

Events get under way on Saturday at Churchtown, where the village celebrates its 175th festival, with the procession kicking off at 1pm.

Sunday sees a host of jubilee events, including a Big Lunch organised by Garstang Fairtraders outside Booths.

Monday is expected to see bumper crowds hit the streets of Garstang for the annual children’s festival parade, following the crowning of festival queen, Natassja Hodgson, at 11am.

Jubilee plaques on the old town hall are understood to be being unveiled at a ceremony organised by the town trust at about 10.45pm.

Garstang’s children’s festival has an action-packed programme (see page 47-49) and numbers are expected to be even bigger than ever this year.

The main jubilee event on Monday will be the lighting of the bonfire on the community centre car park at 10.30pm. Tuesday sees a jubilee service at St Thomas’s and a strawberry tea at the Arts Centre, both at 2pm.

Inside your right royal Courier today:

l Page 2: The Queen and us – a look at Garstang’s royal links

l Page 3: Your guide to the Jubilee celebrations

l Page 12: Churchtown festival preview

l Page 47-49: Garstang Children’s festival feature.