PICTURES: East Preston goes World Cup mad for its village festival

East Preston went global this weekend as its World Cup-themed village festival got underway.

From last Friday to this Sunday, the village will be gripped by World Cup fever alongside a full programme of events for the whole family.

Raw Power: Tug-of-War champions the Clockhouse Bar team

Raw Power: Tug-of-War champions the Clockhouse Bar team

Saturday morning kicked off with a Children’s Extravaganza, giving kids the chance to hone their circus skills, take in a Punch and Judy show and have their minds blown by Robbie the Magician.

Local band Vertigo played the evening to a close with hits from the 70s and 80s.

Some villagers have opened their gardens to dazzle their neighbours with their perfectly sculpted flower beds.

Front gardens have had makeovers too with national-themed scenes as part of the scarecrow competition.

Happy Days Pre-School took home the prize for their French-themed, three-scarecrow epic, depicting artist Toulouse Lautrec painting a hay-filled model.

The weekend’s fine weather attracted a record 300 visitors to the craft fair on the village green, as local crafters peddled their wares.

Temperatures rose even further as the tug-of-war competition kicked off, with the Clockhouse Bar team proving themselves the brawniest East Prestonians.

“We’re delighted with the success of all the events so far,” said festival chairman Jackie Pilcher.

“We couldn’t have done it without the wonderful support from villagers and the community spirit that brings East Preston alive each year.”

Local shops and cafes have got in on the action with World Cup-themed window displays.

A French scene proved popular again as Glyn Jones Estate Agents won with their baguette, cheese and champagne-centred café setting.

The festival offers a chance to celebrate the history of East Preston and on Monday morning, long-term residents and local historians gathered for a trip down memory lane with Memories of East Preston.

Plenty of events to keep the entertainment coming were timetabled, including an Indian fashion show yesterday, a big band concert this evening and Greg Dorrel’s Rod Stewart tribute act tomorrow evening.

Ms Pilcher is hoping the sun stays shining through the weekend, particularly for the carnival parade through the village on Saturday and a dog show on the village green on Sunday.

Much of the proceeds raised from the festival is returned to the community or distributed to selected charities, including the NSPCC.

Last year’s beneficiaries included Children’s Liver Disease Foundation and the RNLI among many more.

For a full programme of events and further information on the festival, visit its website by logging on to www.eastprestonvillage.co.uk/EastPrestonFestival-2018.