NINE days covering nearly every aspect of Rossendale’s storied history will draw to a close on Sunday.

An inaugural heritage festival for the valley has been drawn together by CAST (Community Assets Standing Tall), assisted by The Boo Theatre in Waterfoot.

And the promoters have been touching on everything from Lancashire dialects to the history of Ramadan.

The festivities will end with an action-packed weekend at either end of the valley.

Waterfoot Wakes, which was revived for the first time last year, makes another appearance on Sunday, with assistance from The Boo’s artists.

Frontline workers in the late Victorian era were the first to benefit from the traditional holidays, which gave some much-needed respite from Rossendale’s factories and mills.

A CAST spokesman said: “The festival is a cultural celebration which brings together all ages and communities that shouts loud and proud about Rossendale - its heritage and its future.”

Libraries across the borough will feature readings from The Rossendale Anthology, by Ronald Digby, from dialect expert Sid Calderbank, from today.

Meanwhile The Boo also hosts Earthquake Ceilidh, tomorrow, and a comedy night, with Howard Read and Nick Doody, 24 hours later.

Bacup Natural History Museum has an exhibition marking the centenary of the original Bacup Carnival, on the following Sunday.

And the annual sermon at the historic Goodshaw Chapel, which dates back to the mid-18th century, will resound to the Larks of Dean Quire and choruses of Handel’s Messiah.

Rarely-seen archive material from Haslingden artist Dave Pearson is being showcased at The Whitaker, for the duration, alongside items from the Rawtenstall venue’s back catalogue.

The festival has been made possible by a Heritage Lottery Fund grant and has been brought together following two years of careful planning.

Last weekend the revived Bacup and Stacksteads Community Carnival took centre stage. This year marks 100 years since the famous Peace Procession wound its way through Bacup, celebrating the end of the First World War. Centenary medals have been handed out to the town’s youngsters already by Bacup Nat.