ONE of the highlights of Radcliffe's calendar year is set to return to Red Bank Field this weekend.

The Radcliffe Carnival committee is making the final preparations for the 54th annual summer spectacle, which attracts thousands of visitors each year.

Back for 2019 will be the increasingly popular town parade, led by the award-winning marching Radcliffe Brass Band.

There will be a selection of traditional attractions and modern rides for thrill-seekers to enjoy as Silcock's Fun Fair returns for the two-day extravaganza.

Sadly though, this year's event will be a last for outgoing carnival chairman Andrew Clarkson, who has served the town in this capacity for seven years.

Mr Clarkson said: "We are looking forward to a really nice day with lots of fun and family-friendly entertainment.

"Hopefully we will be able to do the town proud again with a parade that has gone from strength to strength over the years. The parade is a highlight of the carnival and we are hoping we can top last year's grand performance. The fairground will be open all weekend, and we also have the car boot sale on Sunday, so there is something for everyone.

"It is going to be a fantastic two days."

He added: "I have been in the role of carnival chairman for seven years and feel it is time to step aside but I'm hoping to still be around and support the event in future years.

"I have really enjoyed my time as chairman. There are some really motivated and enthusiastic people who plug away and do a fantastic job to pull off this event year on year.

"I have been very impressed with the public support for what we are trying to do and only hope they do us proud again this weekend."

The carnival parade will set off from Red Bank Field at 2pm on Saturday, following its traditional route along Ainsworth Road, Water Street and through the town centre via Blackburn Street and Church Street West, weaving its way towards Festival Gardens before returning to Red Bank.

Meanwhile, a huge display of military vehicles, classic cars and a 1950s tractor from Bury Transport Museum will also be on show.

Visitors will be able to enjoy a range of dance competitions and performances, featuring Radcliffe Morisco's Morris Dancing Troupe and majorettes, as well as Radcliffe Carnival royalty.

The event also promises an army assault course, charity village and a range of stalls to peruse.

Bargain hunters will be pleased to learn that the long-running car boot sale will return to Red Bank on Sunday. The event will open at 7am until 1pm, with participating cars costing £12 and vans priced at £18.

Carnival programmes are available at Stay 'N' Play Doggy Daycare, Whitelines Beauty Studio, Radcliffe Market and other venues.

The committee is still looking for volunteers to help with the carnival arrangements, including field duties and road closures on Saturday. If you are available to help, contact members via the Radcliffe Carnival Facebook page or text 07830 112123.