TWO Hollyoaks stars will top the bill at this weekend’s Horwich Carnival.

Actors Ashley Taylor Dawson and Nick Pickard who play popular characters Darren Osborne and Tony Hutchinson in the Channel 4 soap will be signing autographs at one of Horwich’s flagship events.

This is the second year that a new team, headed by Diane Woodruff and Andrea Allot are organising the event, which will run alongside the annual festival of racing in what should be a bumper weekend for the town.

This year the carnival has been backed by a lottery grant and significant funding from Horwich Town Council.

Diane Woodruff, chair of the organising committee said: “We are all really looking forward to it and with the lottery grant and support from the town council we think this year is going to be bigger and better than other years.

“It will be a jam packed weekend and we hope lots of people will come and join us, me and Andrea have worked really hard to put on a good carnival and we would like to thank our partners for supporting us — we hope this will be a big deal for Horwich.”

The carnival fun will begin on Friday with a singing competition being held at the Horwich Conservative Club in Church Street where a top prize of £300 will be available.

All the other events across the weekend will be held in Station Park, which on Saturday will include a bonnie baby competition, a fun dog show, a daywear modelling contest and a performance from the Bolton Majorettes.

Saturday will also see one of the acting stars, Ashley Taylor-Dawson signing autographs in the marquee from 2.15pm.

Sunday features the stand-out event of the weekend, the carnival parade, where hundreds of families will line the streets to see the floats pass-by — the festival of racing will be paused at 12pm to allow the carnival to proceed.

Following this, people will be encouraged to return to Station Park for a funfair, African drumming and a signing session by Nick Pickard at 3pm.

Visitors will need to purchase a programme to be signed by the stars on both days.