St George’s Day festival organisers are challenging Fylde coast residents and businesses to be as patriotic as possible.
Lytham’s St George’s Day Festival is in its sixth year and the event continues to go from strength to strength.
A spokesman for the festival said: “A key aim of the Festival is to have St George’s Day enshrined as a national holiday and our preference would be for it to either replace May Day or be the third Monday in April every year.
“Another aim is to help build the profile of Lytham and the Fylde in general which will in turn help support local businesses in the area, most notably the shopkeepers, pub landlords and restaurant owners whose very livelihood depends on people visiting the town.
“Events such as this and Lytham Proms can only help to enhance the town’s image and raise that profile, so we hope the whole business community will come together and get behind the event.
“In particular we want to see all the shops and streets decked out in red and white.
“We are again running a special competition for business owners by challenging them to put on the best display of “Englishness” they can. The competition will be judged by Coun Susan Fazackerley on Saturday April 26, the day of the festival Parade.”
There will be a prize of £250 for the winner, £100 for second and £50 for third place.
The spokesman added: “Lastly but not least, our third aim is raising money for charity - our three charities are ABF, The Soldiers’ Charity who receive 50 per cent of everything we raise, Donna’s Dream House which receives 25 per cent and Trinity Hospice, also 25 per cent.
The festival kicks off on Wednesday April 23, St George’s Day itself, with the official raising of the St George’s Day Flag at Charlie’s Mast on Lytham Green.
The spokesman said: “All new to this year’s event will be the inaugural St George’s Golf Day; why not enter a team into the four ball event or sponsor the day.
“On Thursday 24th the entertainment starts in our magnificent marquee on Lytham Green.
“Returning again this year following its fantastic success in 2013 is our Tea Dance. A classic afternoon of ballroom dancing to the delightful Bill Barrow Quartet accompanied by an exclusive Fish and Chip lunch provided by Seniors of Lytham.
“Thursday evening sees the return of the popular Comedy Evening and this year will be in partnership with the Manchester-based company Gag-Reflex.
“On Friday 25th we have our spectacular St George’s Day lunch hosted by local celebrity and entertainer, Tazz. You will be entertained in five-star surroundings by a variety of well known local entertainers starting at noon with a welcome glass of champagne followed by a sumptuous four-course lunch, and then dancing and singing to live music throughout the afternoon.”
The annual St George’s Day Parade through the streets of Lytham takes place on Saturday April 26. This year promises to be better than ever with marching bands, classic cars, floats and the like and is a great chance for all the community to take part.
There are two different classes to enter: a float for the chance to win a £500 prize, there is also a £250 prize on offer for the best school float or walking group.
The festival spokesman said: “The theme for all is of course, England, and St George. Saturday evening sees us move to the highlight of the weekend, the extremely popular and prestigious Black Tie Ball where you can dance the night away until 1am.”
Sunday sees the finale of the festival with an all new event, Run Lytham which will see runners take to the streets of Lytham as part of a 10k race. The route is a fast and flat course along the Lytham coastal road, with the race starting and finishing at the windmill on Lytham Green.
All the proceeds of Run Lytham will be donated to the ABF Soldier’s Charity.
Following Run Lytham on the Sunday afternoon will be the ever-popular Family Fun Day, with events for all the family.
There will be many different stalls and shows put on by local schools and artists. With events both inside and out including a huge display of classic cars.
For tickets or for more information as to how you can get involved in any of the St George’s Day Festival events visit www.april23.co.uk or call (01253) 667420.