Thousands line the streets at patriotic party

CHEERS From left Hayley Gardner and Caroline Templeman during the celebrations.  Picture: Sarah Standing (121915-5275)
CHEERS From left Hayley Gardner and Caroline Templeman during the celebrations. Picture: Sarah Standing (121915-5275)
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THE streets of Leigh Park were transformed red, white and blue on Saturday to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Thousands turned out to the public street party on Park Parade to enjoy live music performances, stalls, fairground rides and a free lunch.

ANIMAL FUN Georgia Bury, nine, and brother Liam Bury, three, with Billy the European Eagle Owl.  (121915-5295)

ANIMAL FUN Georgia Bury, nine, and brother Liam Bury, three, with Billy the European Eagle Owl. (121915-5295)

The event took place in the town’s precinct and was organised by Leigh Park Traders’ Association in a bid to encourage more people into the shopping area.

One of the organisers, Helen Bolton, the association’s secretary, said: ‘The party was brilliant, we couldn’t have asked for more.

‘Everyone pulled together to help organise it and we were really surprised with the turnout – I’ve never seen so many people in the precinct.’

Helen, who runs Best Pet Foods on Park Parade, added: ‘We set up the trading association in September last year because we want to regenerate the area and make it a nice place to shop and live.

‘And we wanted to host a free event like this to show the community that we are serious about doing that.

‘What better opportunity is there to do that than the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee?’

Visitors dressed in patriotic colours and lined the streets to enjoy the many attractions.

One of the features which caused quite a stir was the appearance of one of the owls from Harry Potter, which was brought to the event by The National Falconry School.

Emilly Briggs, 11, of Parkhouse Farm Way, Leigh Park, had her picture taken with the stunning bird.

Talking about the party, Emilly said: ‘I’ve never seen anything like it before, it was really cool, especially the owl.

‘I just wandered about with my friend looking at everything that was going on and I tried out some of the activities.

‘It was great fun, I hope they organise another one.’

Emilly was at the street party with her mum, Heather.

The 52-year-old, also of Parkhouse Farm Way, Leigh Park, said: ‘Events like this are great for children of Emilly’s age because it gives them something to remember.

‘I remember the Silver Jubilee very well, so it’s good that she’ll have something like that too.’

Other activities at the street party included face painting and a children’s dance floor.

Graham Davies, 64, of Wakefords Way, West Leigh, took his two-year-old daughter, Michelle, to the party.

He said: ‘Michelle saw Mickey Mouse and Buzz Lightyear, I won her a puppy dog teddy, and she had an ice cream, so she thought it was good.

‘It was a nice party – and it’s exactly the kind of event you’d expect to see in the community.

‘I just hope it’s not another 60 years before they do another one.’