An inaugural free festival attracted thousands of visitors will come back “bigger and better”, organisers say.

The Festival of Horwich was held on Saturday, September 23 and mayoress of Horwich Kathyrn Grant has now revealed that around 7,000 people came over the course of the day and that as much as £2,000 was raised for the mayor’s charities.

She says that they now plan to hold the festival annually.

She said: “We wanted to put something on to encourage people to get together and celebrate all that we have on our own doorstep and within our own community.

“We showcased community groups and organisations, local first responder teams, sea and air cadets, as well as local artists and entertainers, musicians and performers.”

The Bolton News: Mayor and Mayoress of Horwich David and Kathryn GrantMayor and Mayoress of Horwich David and Kathryn Grant (Image: Public)

She added: “There were free inflatables and assault courses and there was even a giant bubble display and a wandering magician!

“There were food vans from around the work, a morning free soft play session for tots, and an afternoon tea dance. To top it off we had competitions running on the day.”

There were also various competitions including the “find a mayor” competition, won by 12-year-old Leah McKay, from Horwich, who was awarded an iPad donated by Regency Estates.

The Bolton News: The Find a Mayor competition was won by 12-year-old Leah McKayThe Find a Mayor competition was won by 12-year-old Leah McKay (Image: Public)

Another estate agents, Lancasters Estate Agents, were also worthy winners that day when the company’s team won an “It’s a Knockout” style competition.

Plans are now in motion to bring the festival back on a yearly basis.

The mayoress said: “We raised almost £2000 for the Mayors charities with the Festival of Horwich and we have plans to run the festival on a yearly basis.

ALSO READ: Festival comes to town for first time

ALSO READ: Jam-packed family festival set to come to Horwich this month

ALSO READ: Bid to create 'wonderful' space for youngsters music space takes step forward

“For future years we hope to apply for external funding so we can build on what we have started and make next year’s bigger and better.

“We are looking at applying for funding initially to fund a three to five year programme for the festivals running costs.

“The atmosphere on the day was wonderful and it was lovely to see connections being formed within our community, and people relaxed and enjoying themselves.

“This is what a town council is all about, connecting people and promoting togetherness and celebrating what we have on offer all around us and it has been my absolute pleasure to help run such an event with the council.”