AN HISTORIC town tradition, hanging in the balance only a few weeks ago, made a triumphant return to the streets this weekend.

Horwich Carnival, an event with more than three decades of history, returned with its traditional parade and stalls with more energy than ever this year.

Organisers Diane Woodruff and Andrea Allott were left scrambling as they struggled to gain interest from the public this year, with only five participants who had pledged to take part in their parade at the beginning of May.

Just the week before the show, the pair suffered sudden drop outs from participants, but the organisers turned it around just in time, proclaiming this year as the best in the seven they have been running the show.

Ms Allott, 42, said: “With people pulling out and not showing up, it was a tough weekend.

“We just made the best of it really.

“The parade was actually the largest we have ever managed. I just went along with it though, you can’t let it overcome you, we just did the best we could.”

Ms Allott says that the carnival got rave reviews this time from happy crowd. She added: “Normally, by 3pm, people are leaving us messages saying it was rubbish. This time they have been saying it was absolutely fantastic.

“People are actually saying they are going to come back next year.”

Without the help of local schools and businesses, however, the carnival would have been left struggling.

Ms Allott said: “It’s about the community, we need them to get involved every year to keep it going and make it a success.”

Along with the parade, which featured Emmerdale stars Jay Kontzle and Asan N’Jie, the carnival also saw a burger van, beer tent and face paint entertain guests.

A dog show and demonstrations in a boxing ring by members of the local boxing club also energised the sunny weekend.

Ms Allott says the carnival helps advertise the local businesses. She added: “There is so many businesses in Horwich, we don’t even realise. it does astound you.”

Ms Allott is not stopping to take a break after the success of this carnival, instead she has already started planning for next year — making her first phone calls for the 2020 parade yesterday.