Carnival to enjoy a summer comeback

Cath Quigley, Michael Oakes, Sue Oakes, Helen Loynd and Stewart McGarrie
Cath Quigley, Michael Oakes, Sue Oakes, Helen Loynd and Stewart McGarrie

The carnival is definitely not over in Leigh as plans to bring back the popular community celebration after at least a decade gather pace.

Volunteer organisers have announced the Leigh Carnival of Colour will take place in June on the town centre car park on Bengal Street next to the town hall and the Turnpike.

We’ve had a lot of interest in the carnival

Cath Quigley

Vehicles and walkers will create a bright spectacle as they parade through the town centre streets before visitors enjoy an afternoon of stalls and live entertainment.

The carnival was briefly revived around 10 years ago but many of the organising committee hark back to the large-scale summer events held in Leigh in the 1970s and 80s and are looking forward to bringing this traditional festival back for a new generation.

Committee member Cath Quigley said: “Our aim is to bring some colour and happiness back to the town, instead of it being a grey place. We’ve had a lot of interest in the carnival. There will be vehicles and a lot of walkers in the parade, although we can’t have the great big floats because it’s not logistically possible to turn them around in the town centre.

“The carnival came back about 10 years ago for a couple of years, but that was a completely different route. I’ve seen photos of the old ones and hopefully it will be a bit like the carnivals and scarecrow festivals they have in countryside towns.

“Now all we need is a bit of sun.”

The procession will start the carnival on June 4 by departing from the Bengal Street car park for a 50-minute route taking in Walmesley Road, Findlay Street, Railway Road and the parish church before returning to the start point.

There will then be live music, including a headlining set from well-known young Leigh singer-songwriter Zoe Unsworth, stalls from local groups, dance troupes and community organisations including the Scouts and state pension inequality campaigners Waspi.

Leigh Centurions are sending mascot Parky Pig and possibly a couple of players to the carnival and Leigh Rugby Union Club is also getting involved.

As Wigan Council is holding an event for The Deal on Civic Square next to the carnival on the same day organisers are hoping the town centre will be especially busy.