Whaley Bridge’s Rose Queen Festival celebrates its 40th anniversary on Saturday, with a right royal arrival by canal boat for the start of the parade and celebrations.
In pride of place on the Judith Mary will be two girls from the rose queen royalty, eight-year-old Seren Adlington and six-year-old Katie Fairs.
Both pupils at Whaley Bridge Primary School, they will represent the festival’s ‘royal family’ and take their special place on a colourful float in the procession, which starts at 1pm from Canal Street and finishes at the bowling club about an hour later.
Seren said: “I am looking forward to representing Whaley Bridge and waving to everyone from the float.”
Added Katie: “I look forward to seeing everyone on carnival day.”
It’s anniversary time, too, for Whaley Bridge Band – an amazing 150 years – who will play the procession through the town, and the Billerettes, a rose queen favourite, are also 40-years-old.
Yet another anniversary will be noted – 75 years since the Battle of Britain – when a Supermarine Spitfire from the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight will roar over Whaley Bridge at about 3pm.
The pilot, Wing Commander Justin Helliwell, will be on a familiar flightpath – last year he piloted the Hurricane flying over the rose queen celebrations.
Throughout the afternoon at the bowling club there will be lots going on: a display by the Billerettes, a parade of queens, a display by Bushi Kempo Ju Jitsu, stalls, refreshments and a funfair.
On Sunday, Whaley Bridge Band will perform near the well dressing site at Tom Brad’s Croft from 2pm, before the blessing at 2.30pm.
This will be followed on Wednesday by the annual pet show at the bowling club. Entrants can book in from 6pm, with the judging getting underway at 6.30pm.