JOUSTING, parades and dragon slaying can all be expected this weekend as part of East Lancashire’s St George’s Day celebrations.

St George, the patron saint of England, is celebrated each year on 23 April, and in keeping with tradition, scouts and guides throughout the region’s six boroughs will be parading through the streets, renewing the scout promise and handing out awards for long and exceptional service.

The most famous legend of Saint George is of him slaying a dragon and Hyndburn Scouts will be parading through Oswaldtwistle with a papier-mâché model of the monster and a real-life knight tomorrow (22 April) from 1.45pm.

The Mayor of the Ribble Valley and the Mayor of Clitheroe will attend a parade from Clitheroe Castle to St Mary’s Parish Church, where a service including an awards presentation, will be held.

Derwent Hall, in George Street, Darwen, will play host to two special celebrations - a scout parade on Sunday (22 April), which will end at St Peter’s Church and be followed by a service at 3pm and a special luncheon on the day itself.

Rossendale scouts have organised a service to be held in St Mary’s Church, in Haslingden Old Road, Rawtenstall, at 2.15pm on 22 April, and Burnley Scouts will be attending St Mary’s Church, in Todmorden Road, for a similar celebration.

Pendle Scouts have organised a campfire followed by a short service at Colne Municipal Hall on 22 April, starting at 6.30pm.

In Blackburn, a parade will be led from Corporation Park to King George’s Hall tomorrow, but in order to make scouting more attractive to different sections of the community, no church service will be held.

As well as scout-run celebrations, Clitheroe Castle is also holding a fun weekend for families, with a weapons demonstration, jousting, dragon hunting and St George-themed stories.

The Royal Society of St George also has a packed programme of celebrations, including a horse and dragon parade through Blackburn town centre today (21 April), a rally from Mitton Hall, in Whalley, tomorrow (22 April) with 120 vintage cars and a service at Blackburn Cathedral on 29 April at 2pm.

George Hilton, treasurer of the Royal Society of St George, said it was great to see so many people celebrating the saint.

He said: “We would really encourage people to come along and we are always looking for new members.

“It is so important to mark the day because he is the patron saint of England.”