THOUSANDS of people will flock to Horwich this weekend for the town's biggest festival.

Horwich Carnival will provide two days of entertainment for all the family at Old Station Park and there will also be the annual carnival running and cycle races will also be taking place on the Sunday.

Saturday's events include a bonny baby show, a football competition, a kick boxing demonstration, a magic show, and the Miss Horwich and Miss Rivington competitions.

Sunday will see a procession of floats travel through Horwich from 12 noon, starting in Ramsbottom Road, along Victoria Road, Church Street, Lee Lane and ending Chorley New Road.

The day will also see the crowning of the carnival queen and other carnival royalty, as well as displays by dancing teams.

Retiring queen Nichola Ogden will pass on her duties to Emma Jackson. The new princess will be Chloe Roberts, the page boy is Oliver Hardman, and the rosebud is Cody Mae Sagan.

Both days will include a climbing wall, a "bucking bronco", an army assault course, face painting, games and other attractions.

Town councillor Kieran McGeehan, who is on the carnival committee, said: "For the last 12 months the carnival team has worked tirelessly to ensure that this year's carnival and races weekend will be the best ever.

"There will be something for everyone and all we need now to make it a perfect day is the heart and soul of Horwich - the families. That is what makes all our effort worth while.

He added: "I understand, fingers crossed, that we are in for good weather and look forward to seeing as many people as possible there to enjoy the weekend."

Athletes and cyclists will descend on the town on Sunday for the Horwich Carnival Races.

The races attract competitors from across the country and the £1 from each entry will go to Bolton Hospice.

It was feared the events might not take place this year because of road closure issues.

Police will no longer operate "rolling roadblocks" by escorting parades along roads which are still open to traffic.

The issue first arose when the Horwich Remembrance Parade came under threat of cancellation last year.

Horwich Town Council contributed £1,400 for the carnival and £5,000 to the carnival races to help with the rising costs.