A BID to beat the great British weather is at the heart of plans to create a new festival in East Lancashire.

Following a year of washed-out and cancelled outdoor events, an arts centre is planning a flood of fun activities in an event that will actually celebrate rain.

Staff at the Civic Arts Centre in Oswaldtwistle say the event will feature an umbrella parade, mud sculpting and singing and dancing in the rain.

The Weather or Not! Festival is to take place this Easter and organisers are urging people to get involved in planning the festival which will take place on the streets of Oswaldtwistle.

Centre director Gayle Knight said: “This festival is to be a brand new outdoor cultural festival featuring more or less anything that can be weather related.

“We spend so much time complaining about the weather and quite often rain can cancel an event.

“Weather or Not! is all about enjoying the great British weather and having fun outdoors – regardless of rain or shine.”

Organisers are also appealing for hundreds of donated umbrellas which will be transformed into a colourful parade, worthy of being rained on.

Gayle said: “We’re putting out an appeal for anyone with any old, plain umbrellas to drop them off with us at the Civic Arts Centre so that we can decorate them and parade with them. As long as they open up we want them.”

And if it doesn’t rain?

Gayle said: “We’ve been joking about that – and it will still go ahead in fine weather! We might have to create some rain for some events but the clue is in the title of the ‘Weather or Not’ festival. It’s an event where you can have fun whatever the weather.”

Residents and groups are also encouraged to submit their own weather themed ideas. Visit the centre, email info@civicartscentre.co.uk or call 01254 398319.