PLANS are under way for the Horwich Festival of Racing which will see the town taken over by cyclists, runners, walkers and unicylers.

The festival, which has grown over the past 10 years and is now regarded as a key sporting event in the North West, will return to Horwich in June.

The National Unicycle Road Race, which made its debut at last year’s event, will return and this year could also see the introduction of a new race, called The Horwich Mad Dash, which will feature riders on scooters, skateboards and small-wheeled unicycles.

These races will be run alongside the traditional cycling, running and walking events.

Orienteering will not feature this year but is set to return in 2015.

On Saturday, June 14, there will be a fun swim and run for youngsters between the ages of eight and 14 before a full schedule of events on Sunday, June 15.

Grants have been promised by Bolton Council and Horwich Town Council as well as sponsorship from Emersons, Bluemantle and Joseph Holt — and organisers are hoping for further donations in the run-up to the event.

Neil Brown, who has organised the event with former Mayor of Bolton, Barbara Ronson, since its inception in 2002, said: “We are always keen to encourage as many different types of event as possible — although we have to work out some insurance details.

“When we started in 2002 there were only cycling events, but the festival has grown and grown and now it is established as a top sporting event in the region. It helps to put Bolton and Horwich on the map.”

Mr Brown also revealed that people will be encouraged to commemorate the centenary of World War One by dressing in period costume or taking bikes similar to those ridden during that era.

Mrs Ronson, who is also a former Mayor of Horwich, said: “Along with many organi-sations in Horwich, we would like to recognise the centenary of the start of the war and are hoping to make contact with anyone who has an old machine, and possibly an outfit to wear with it.

“Any ideas will be gratefully received.”

For further information, contact Neil Brown on tel 01204 693070 or Barbara Ronson on 01204 695742.