This coming bank holiday weekend is the biggest of the year for festivals.
Tens of thousands of people will let their hair down and party at lively events across the Lancaster and Morecambe district.
Morecambe Carnival alone is expected to pull 40,000 to the central promenade to enjoy two days of events topped by Sunday’s traditional parade of floats and a pop music stage headlined by big names Alesha Dixon and Scouting for Girls.
The third Morecambe Variety Festival will also be going on in the Winter Gardens theatre at the same time.
Meanwhile across the water, Lancaster Leisure Park will host its annual food festival. And there are also festivals in Wray (see page 27), Scorton and Kirkby Lonsdale too on a bumper bank holiday weekend.
Morecambe Carnival kicks off on Saturday with a programme for all the family between noon and 5pm, centred around the central promenade and the Bay arena. Many of these events will run on the Sunday too. They include a motor village near the Midland featuring a free-to-enter draw to win a £20,000 car, a 36-stall marquee, stunt displays by Morecambe stuntman Martin Shenton and his team (Saturday only), the EDF Energy Family Fun Zone with live music, a petting zoo, gyroscope, and a giant mechanised ‘Tyrannosaurus Rex’ walking about, emergency service displays and vehicles, a parachute display (weather permitting, noon and 5pm on the Saturday only), a sandcastle building competition (Saturday only), circus (Saturday only), BMX stunt displays (Saturday only), donkey rides and a land train.
New carnival king and queen, Jacob Sykes (10) and Millie Potter-Thomas (8), will also be crowned on Saturday.
Then the carnival parade starts at 1.30pm on Sunday, followed by The Bay live music stage from 4pm featuring Scouting for Girls and Alesha Dixon.
Local acts Stuart Michaels, Amy Jo Clough, Idol Minds and Ashleigh Wood, as well as District 12, Tiger Heart, Britain’s Got Talent star Henry Gallagher, X Factor and I’m A Celebrity star Jake Quickenden, The Voice winner Kevin Simm and runner-up Jolan Gidney-Craige, and Newton Faulkner will also perform.
There will be a fireworks finale at 9pm and an aftershow party of ‘Disco Inferno’ hits from 1974-1984 at The Platform from 8pm to 1am (tickets from 01524 582803 or on the door).
Marine Road Central will be closed to traffic on Sunday from 11am to 10pm from the Northumberland Street junction to Central Drive.
Across the road at the Winter Gardens, the third Morecambe Variety Festival brings a flavour of old-style entertainment to town for a two-day event celebrating the weird and wonderful.
Starting at 11am on Saturday and Sunday, the variety festival combines free events for all the family with a number of ticketed attractions such as the extravagant Saturday night ‘Ugly Bug Ball’.
A full list of events is available on our website www.lancasterguardian.co.uk
For tickets visit skiddle.com or 13 The Warehouse on Queen Street, Morecambe or email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve daytime shows.
There will also be a box office at the festival.
Meanwhile the Lancaster Food and Drink Festival runs at Lancaster Leisure Park on Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday from noon to 6pm.
All kinds of tasty treats will be on offer to sample and buy.
This year the festival is sponsored by Miller Homes and organised by the events team at Lancaster Brewery.
Among all the regular favourites of hot street food, samples, bars and live music, they have added children’s activities including face painting and an indoor soft play area.
All the regular attractions on the park will be open as usual. And it’s free to enter.
The Scorton Bikes and Barrows festival is one of the most unique events on the calendar.
Villagers decorate bicycles and wheelbarrows and put them on display outside for all to see.
The family-friendly event, running each day from Friday until Bank Holiday Monday, also features the Scorton Rose Queen Day on Saturday and a fun run on Sunday.
Kirkby Lonsdale will celebrate two of the finest things in life this weekend – beer and music!
The Kirkby Lonsdale Beer and Music Festival is at the rugby club starting on Friday night at 7pm and it runs until late Sunday evening. The event showcases local musicians and locally brewed beers.
Entry is free.
There is also the Wray Scarecrow Festival continuing every day until Bank Holiday Monday.
For more on Morecambe Carnival click HERE
For more on Morecambe Variety Festival click HERE