A WEEKEND-long celebration of St George’s Day will take place in Darwen this year.

Darwen and Rural Neighbourhood Board has pledged £5,000 to support the event, which aims to draw people into the town and provide activities for the whole community on April 23 and 24.

It is hoped that most of the activities can be arranged around Darwen Market and the Market Square.

Among ideas touted by organisers Paul Rigby and board member Elliott Gazdula, is that the market annexe can be converted into a dragon’s den with an animated dragon triggered by infra red senor with lighting effects and fog.

Organisers are also looking into putting on a sporting event such as a race to the tower and back, and having a parade of old British cars and motorcycles around the town.

Local bars will be approached about the possibility of putting on a music event over the weekend, and there could also be a live ‘battle’ between St George and a dragon as well as brass band performances, a best decorated shop competition, food stalls, morris dancing, folk tales, and a marquee featuring typically English things.

John Sturgess, chair of Darwen and Rural Neighbourhood Board, said: “The day celebrates all that makes the English what we are; tolerant, friendly, multicultural, generous and a word that is rarely used now – chivalrous.

“It is important for Darwen as we are a fairly typical English town with people from many varied backgrounds, countries and so on, and we want to ensure that this is celebrated properly.

“There are members of the Royal Society of St George heavily involved with our event along with members of Darwen and rural Neighbourhood Board. The Society is non political and is for all people who share a love of England and Englishness.”

Eileen Guy, market trader, board member, and chair of Darwen Shop and Business Association, said: “I think it’s an excellent idea to bring people into the town, and quite unique really.

“Anything that enhances the shopping experience and gives the community something positive to do has to be welcomed.

“It’s in the very early stages at the moment, and we are in talks with a lot of businesses to see how they want to get involved.”