Volunteers step in to save town gala

Poulton Gala 2010

Poulton Gala 2010

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A MARKET town is to come alive with colour after its annual gala was saved by volunteers.

Residents in Poulton were left shocked when news the popular festival would not go ahead broke in January this year.

Organisers blamed a lack of volunteers and red tape for the cancellation of the event, which dates back to 1794.

Community

But following eight weeks of hard work, the new gala committee say the community event is back on track and promises to be better than ever.

Gala spokesman Roger Critchley said this year’s festivities would focus on the town centre itself, something lost in recent years.

He added: “We have been overwhelmed at the interest shown in the town and are looking forward to a day of celebrations which focus on the town centre itself, to the benefit of the town’s economy.

“The square will provide a magnificent setting for the Gala Queen crowning, where it used to be held, and there will be stalls and entertainment all day.

“The first gala celebrations took place as long ago as the 18th century and we are proud to be continuing that tradition.”

This year’s gala will now be held over the weekend of Saturday June 4 with a variety of stalls and entertainment.

The town centre parade will include the Red Rose New Orleans Jazz Band, Poco Loco Samba Band, Poulton’s Gala Queen and Blackpool Circus School.

Committee member John Bailie said although the initial plan was to ensure the fun fair and classic car event took place, he believes the event will be a showstopper.

He said: “The fair itself and the car event were never cancelled so our group formed to try to build on this and produce an event possibly in a more modest form than previous years.

“However in a very short space of time it became apparent a festival was extremely important to the community and traders who have been generous with donations and offers of assistance and involvement.

“We are looking forward to welcoming large crowds to Poulton and while this is an independently organised event by a very energetic team, Wyre Council has been most helpful and we appreciate that.”

Other events during the weekend will include a Classic and Vintage car event on Sunday June 5 from 11am to 4pm, a week long photography exhibition in the Masonic Hall and an art exhibition and open day in the Teanlowe Day Centre, Queensway on Saturday 10am to 4pm.