A Bolton village is getting ready for its popular annual scarecrow festival to return this month.

Families, friends and neighbours are making their final preparations on The Belmont Scarecrow Festival which has been ongoing since the pandemic.

The scarecrows will be out on show, weather permitting, on Saturday, June 24, for approximately 10 days for all to enjoy.

The festival was the brainchild of the late Rosemary Newman, who was chair of the Belmont Village Resident’s Association and died last year.

In memory of Rosemary, a handcrafted trophy will be awarded for the best display in the village, which has become an annual presentation.

The Bolton News: Trophy in memory of RosemaryTrophy in memory of Rosemary (Image: Margaret Phillips)

Margaret and Mike Phillips "ran" with Rosemary’s idea during the pandemic and began to put out their own displays at the front of their bungalow.

Speaking about the return of the event, Margaret, the village co-ordinator, said: “The scarecrow festival started in Covid and because it hit us and we couldn’t do anything, a few of us put some scarecrows out to cheer people up and it started from there.

“The lady that was the inspiration behind it had died but she wanted to put Belmont on the map, and she had this idea that we could have a big scarecrow festival.

“So, the festival is a very small, lowkey affair, it is free and the villagers just put scarecrows out, the ones who have room to put them out put them out and if they don’t put scarecrows out, we will ask if we can put bunting on those properties.

“The event will start from Saturday, June 24 and depending on the weather we are hoping to keep them out for ten days covering two weekends.

“On Sunday, June 25, there is a short opening service from the church at 10am, at the Village Green which is incorporated with the little event that goes on really.

The Bolton News: Farmer with a flock of sheepFarmer with a flock of sheep (Image: Margaret Phillips)

“Refreshments will be available on the Saturday and Sunday.

“The event is designed to get the community spirit together and it’s a way of getting people to mingle and to talk.

“The people who won last year will go around this year and will pick this year’s winners, we have two prizes, one for a smaller display and one for bigger display and then there is a little wooden trophy that is handed to the winner for a year which was designed in memory of Rosemary.”

Previous scarecrows that were on display include a farmer with a sheep, a zoo scene, Alice in Wonderland display, Laurel and Hardy, clowns, suffragettes, a pirate scene and much more.

The festival takes place each June and also at Christmas too.

If you have a story or something you would like to highlight in the community, please email me at chloe.wilson@newsquest.co.uk or DM me on Twitter @chloewjourno.