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News article created on 13 September 2016

Leigh Canal Festival crowds bask in sunshine

Thousands of people made the most of the sunny weather to enjoy waterside fun and games at Leigh Canal Festival over the weekend.

Leigh festival

Organised by a group led by the Trust, this was the second year the festival had been staged in the town.

Linking into the national heritage weekend initiative, the festival was spread over several sites this year including the Waterside Inn, Turnpike Gallery, Town Hall Square, Leigh Spinners Mill and the new Pennington Wharf marina.

Kittywake trip boat provided cruises along the Leigh branch of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal and visitors were able to enjoy free canoe taster sessions, a climbing wall, live music, beer festival, a children’s lantern procession and vintage car display.

Several trade boats, selling a range of crafts, were moored along the towpath and other leisure boats congregated by the Waterside Inn to add to the boating festival spectacle.

Leigh boat owners Mary and Peter Unsworth were the lucky recipients of the ‘best boat’ award and were able to toast their success with a bottle of champagne, donated by the local Tesco store.

The festival was launched on Friday afternoon with a VIP boat trip aboard Kittywake, attended by Leigh MP and Manchester mayoral candidate Andy Burnham.

A great success

Chantelle Seaborn, the Trust’s North West waterway manager, said: "The second Leigh Canal Festival, opened by local MP Andy Burnham, was a great success. The festival committee is very grateful to our generous sponsors including the Adactus Group and Bridgewater Business Park. This funding meant that we could provide free canoeing and climbing wall activities which were busy all day! We had trade boats selling arts and crafts and there were lots of people sitting on the canal bank in the September sunshine enjoying the music and beer festival at the Waterside Inn."