Carnival fun on its way back to Leigh

Cath Quigley, Michael Oakes, Sue Oakes, Helen Loynd and Stewart McGarrie have formed a group to bring back Leigh Carnival
Cath Quigley, Michael Oakes, Sue Oakes, Helen Loynd and Stewart McGarrie have formed a group to bring back Leigh Carnival

A group of enthusiasts are looking to bring all the fun of the fair back to Leigh town centre by re-establishing the local carnival.

Colourful floats will make their way through the middle of the town before residents enjoy an afternoon of music, dance and entertainment next summer.

A float in the parade at Leigh Carnival

A float in the parade at Leigh Carnival

The organising committee hopes the event will return after Stewart McGarrie from the Old Leigh Photographs group on Facebook posted a message asking for volunteers to help make the carnival a reality again.

The volunteers want to rekindle memories of the old carnivals from days gone by as well as introduce a new generation to this time-honoured British summer event and promote community spirit and pride in Leigh.

Organising committee member Cath Quigley said: “I’ve lived in Leigh all my life and personally don’t remember the carnival but I was keen to get involved with something happening in the town because I’m a big supporter of Leigh.

“My daughter is nine and I don’t think she’s ever been to a carnival so it will be good for her. Other local towns still have a carnival and we used to have one so we need to get it back.

It’s an event being organised by the people of Leigh for the people of Leigh. What we want is colour, laughter, music, happiness, fun and dancing.

Cath Quigley

“It’s an event being organised by the people of Leigh for the people of Leigh. What we want is colour, laughter, music, happiness, fun and dancing.

“There’s going to be a procession through Leigh town centre and there will be things happening at the start and end points. We’re just hoping for a good turnout and decent weather.”

The details of the parade route and where the entertainment will take place are still being finalised, but Cath says Morris dancing groups have already signed up and they will be joined by local bands and other dance companies.

A date for early summer, probably in June, has tentatively been slated for the carnival but the committee is checking it will not clash with any other local events.

The organisers are also hoping community groups from across Leigh will put together floats and take part in the procession to showcase the full diversity of people and events happening in the town.

The carnival follows heritage and cultural events set up in recent years such as the Leigh For All weekend and the Leigh Canal Festival, and Cath said it is all helping to build interest in the town.

She said: “We’ve approached schools, Scouts and community groups and we are still getting more people on board. We’re aware of a lot of different things going on in Leigh that people are proud of and we want them to show their groups off.

“Events like the heritage weekend and canal festival are growing each year and we’re hoping for the same thing.

“It’s definitely increasing interest in Leigh and when you are involved in something in your town you become proud of it.”

For more information, visit www.facebook.com/Leigh-Carnival-2017