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PICTURES: 8,000 people flock to Accrington carnival weekend

Visitors enjoyed a Chocolate Festival, Soapbox Challenge and Rally Challenge

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Festivals take place in Accrington Town Centre as the newly refurbished Town Square reopens . Photo credit : Joel Goodman

More than 8,000 people flocked to Accrington for a carnival weekend featuring three big events.

Accrington’s new £2 million town square, The Ballroom at Accrington Town Hall and Accrington and Rossendale College were all alive with a flurry of fun and excitement for the borough’s first ever Chocolate Festival, Soapbox Challenge and Rally Challenge.

Stall holders served up all kinds of weird and wonderful delicacies including chocolate pizza, chocolate cheese and a chocolate chilli gin created especially for the day.

Around 125 children attended Miss Wonka Workshops in the Town Hall and more than 500 free bars of chocolate were given away.

Entertainment was provided by Hot Chocolate tribute singer Gee Bello and 18 children competed for the Chocolate Wrestling Championship title with Keiran, age 10, named the winner.

Paul Williams, owner of Choc Amour, said he was ‘pleasantly surprised’ with the turnout. He said: “I sold out of over 300 products in just a few hours which is incredible. I know other stall holders sold out of product as well. For the town’s first Chocolate Festival it was great, and I’m looking forward to returning next year.”

Brave contestants competed in their hand-crafted soapbox vehicles at the Soapbox College. Visitors were also treated to rally demonstrations throughout the day from Group B Rally Cars.

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Zahida Shamim, events director at organisers Scott Dawson Advertising, said it was a ‘resounding success’.

She said: “The event was incredibly successful with over 8,000 people coming into the town throughout the day. We are planning on making this an annual event.”