Festival of delights

By George - what a glorious Festival!

Thousands flocked to Lytham to ensure the ninth annual St George’s Day Festival was the biggest and best yet - and organisers are confident it has raised a record amount for charity.

Lytham St Annes town crier Colin Ballard at the St George's Festival

Lytham St Annes town crier Colin Ballard at the St George's Festival

Festival committee chairman Tim Lince has praised the public for their staunch support for a host of Festival features held over five days in tribute to England’s patron saint and although the cash total which will go to three local charities is still being finalised, it is expected that the target of £100,000 has been comfortably reached.

“What a fantastic event it was - and thanks so much to everyone who came along for their wonderful backing,” said Tim.

“It really did live up to and indeed exceed everything we had hoped for and we were inundated with people saying what a great time they had.

“The new events we included, including an England’s Finest exhibition on both weekend afternoons, a junior talent competition, family barbecue and a choirs contest were exceedingly well received, while the traditional Saturday morning parade was the biggest I had ever seen, taking an hour to go through town.

“It really was a wonderful Festival, blessed by the very best weather and we really couldn’t have wished for more.

“It has grown and grown over the years and has really flown the flag for exactly how to celebrate England patron’s saint.

“The marquee and display area on The Green was at least twice as big as it had ever been before and we were delighted with the turnout throughout.

“We will ensure it keeps growing as we look forward to its 10th year.”

Lytham businessman David Haythornthwaite, who founded the Festival, paid tribute to Tim for his hard work and dedication in ensuring the success of this year’s event.

“Tim really has taken the Festival to another level and we are so grateful to him for that,” said David.

Cash raised from the Festival will be donated to ABF The Soldier’s Charity, Trinity Hospice and the Love Lowther campaign to refurbish Lytham’s theatre. Last year’s event raised £82,000.

See Tuesday’s Gazette and this week’s Lytham St Annes Express for more pictures.