Post date: Nov 23, 2012 10:05:24 AM

Whalley is preparing for the biggest Pickwick Festival ever. To mark the 200 years of the birth of Charles Dickens the organising committee is encouraging visitors to dress up in their finest Dickensian style fancy dress. Spot prizes will be given to the best fancy dress on the evening.

The event is now in its 24th year, and plans are well underway to make it a spectacular event. Special guests from the Local Community will be present at the events opening ceremony at 6pm on Thursday 6th December, and they will be joined by young Sophie Holgate, and her mother Andrea. Sophie has the life threatening condition of Cystic Fibrosis. Sophie and Andrea are taking the opportunity to thank all who have locally helped with donating and supporting the Cystic Fibrosis Trust. They will also be joined by Rob Edmond known as ITV1’s Biggest Loser Trainer, a former SAS Elite Trainer and Survival Instructor. They will part of the official opening which will be signalled this year by a firework display and local church bell ringing.

The event in recent years has held host to about 5000 visitors. This year various activities and entertainment are planned. This includes:

• Music from pipe and brass bands

• Live acts on the main stage throughout the evening

• Children’s entertainment including Punch and Judy.

• Street Entertainment including a Glow Juggler and Jolly Jester

• Over 35 stalls ranging from Gifts, Cards, Christmas Fare, Festive Foods, Hot Foods and Tombola’s

• Late night opening of local businesses and shops

The Whalley Pickwick Committee is a voluntary run organisation, who arranges and hosts the Famous Pickwick Night Festivities. Any profit made on the night and other various fundraising activities are put back into the local community, through good causes and local good needs. In 2012 various good causes have been helped from the Whalley Pickwick Funds, including:

Whalley Table Tennis Club, Langho Tots Group, The Royal British Legion, Whalley Christmas Trees