Prestwich Carnival is back this weekend and is being hailed as the biggest and best staged in recent times.

The event is in St Mary’s Park in Prestwich and has been a highlight of the social calendar for 175 years.

Today (Saturday) was a ‘fun day’ where people enjoyed funfair rides, performances from the main stage and entertainment from the majorettes who were competing in their regional competition.

Prestwich Community Choir, PADOS Theatre Group and Skool of Rock are just some of the acts that performed at the carnival today and a George Michael Tribute act is also on the line-up today.

The Joseph Holt Grand Carnival Parade, featuring an array of community groups, will set off at 12pm on Sunday in a one-and-a-half-mile route, which will include Heywood Road, Fairfax Road and Bury New Road, returning to the park field at around 1.15pm.

Prestwich Carnival Prestwich Carnival (Image: NQ)

Peter Roberts, carnival chairman for the last five years said: “This is the first real Saturday that we’ve produced, we’ve done smaller versions before, but this is the biggest we’ve produced.

“We’re really surprised by the quantity of people here, but the sun is shining and there’s loads of people enjoying themselves.

“We’ve got the stage up and tribute acts and local groups will be performing later.

“On the Saturday we try and involve as many community acts as possible and put as much as we can on that’s free because this is a community event, and we involve the community so we want to give them something they can come to and enjoy.”

The funfair at Prestwich CarnivalThe funfair at Prestwich Carnival (Image: NQ)

The carnival will come to a close at around 6pm on Saturday and approximately 7pm on Sunday.

It’s thought that around 5,000 people will attend the carnival today and a similar number will attend tomorrow.

Efforts are being made to reduce the impact of some parts of the park, which have been in a boggy condition, made worse by the wet weather in recent months however the sun made an appearance for much of the day today.

The event's main sponsor is Muse, which is involved in regeneration plans to transform the town.