A village is already planning for next year’s event after its popular annual scarecrow festival returned – and it was a huge success.

Families, friends, and neighbours showcased their scarecrows at The Belmont Scarecrow Festival from June 24 until July 2, an event which has been running since the pandemic.

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 was awarded for the best display in the village, which has become an annual presentation.

Dave and Liz on Anshaw Close were the winners of this year’s scarecrow festival for their Tina Turner Simply the Best scarecrow.

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

And this year, the festival returned, bringing smiles all round.

Speaking about the return of the event, Michael Phillips said: “The response was really good, you can never know how many people come to the village, but people enjoy it and this year there were between 55 to 60 scarecrows around the village which was quite impressive.

“The scarecrows were really good, there were all sorts of things, very imaginative including traditional scarecrows as well as nontraditional scarecrows which we put out on the moss to make people smile.

The Bolton News: Belmont Scarecrow Festival runner upBelmont Scarecrow Festival runner up (Image: Margaret Phillips)

“We have been daft enough to put two tyres out, one on top of the other, with a sign stating, 'too tyred to do a scarecrow' and next to it was an exhaust pipe with a sign stating 'and I am exhausted too'.

“Some are just silly things, but others are traditional, it just makes you smile.

“This year people were very good, very inventive and it was very successful with the sun shining.

“We had the church open doing afternoon tea and it was just great, we enjoyed it because it much fun and people smiled.

“Everybody loved the scarecrows, some were so realistic they were remarkable.

“We enjoy the festival, and we think a lot of other people enjoy it too.”

The Bolton News: Scarecrow FestivalScarecrow Festival (Image: Margaret Phillips)

Michael said the Belmont community is hoping to make more of a community event out of the festival next year, combining the festival with a day of exciting activities.

Michael said: “We’re hoping to do the scarecrow festival again next year and we are hoping to combine two events.

“This year during the King's coronation we hosted an event on the moss and the sun shone and people attended, and we had more than 250 people come from the village and Greenhalghs came, and the brewery came, and it was a really lovely day.

“So, we thought next year we thought we would do the same thing as an event, so the scarecrow festival would be based around a weekend specifically opposed to a whole week and there will be an event as well so people can come, have a sit down, have some pasties and peas and take part in various activities.”

Another scarecrow festival is also taking place in the borough this month.

Bromley Cross Scarecrow Festival will take place on Sunday, July 16 between 12pm and 4pm at Dunscar Conservative Club on Hardmans Lane.

There will be a £100 cash prize for the winners of each category, communities and businesses.

All proceeds will go to charity and it is free entry for all.

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.