After attracting more than 100,000 visitors last year, Brighouse’s 1940s weekend is back “bigger and better than ever”, according to organisers.
The festival is run and paid for by volunteers of the Brighouse Business Initiative (BBI), who say it is now worth around £1 million to the town’s economy.
Highlights of the weekend, which actually begins tonight with a screening of the classic British wartime film, ‘Ice Cold in Alex’ at the town’s Civic Hall, include a Hurricane fly-over, military displays, and a concert party featuring tributes to George Formby, Gracie Fields, Max Miller, and forces sweetheart, Dame Vera Lynn.
After the success of last year’s inaugural celebrations, organisers say they have doubled the size of this year’s gathering.
Event co-ordinator John Buxton said: “We decided the only thing to do was repeat it but make it bigger and better, so this year we have really pushed the boat out.
“We’ve taken over the entire town centre which will be traffic free for the weekend. You can just walk around the streets and enjoy the atmosphere, as one display leads to another.”
The town will be filled with military vehicles, displays, re-enactors in 1940s outfits and soldiers ready for action, as the main events take place on Saturday and Sunday.
A Hurricane fly-over is planned for Saturday afternoon, just as The Brighouse & Rastrick Band plays the Dam Busters March.
Music from the era will be remembered with 1940s dances at the town’s Assembly Rooms and a range of live performers over two main stages.
Shops will offer 1940s hairstyling and fashion for those wanting to dress the part, and Steven Lord of the Harrison Lord Gallery in Brighouse, said: “Everybody I speak to is really excited with the event. Far more people than last year are planning on dressing up and joining in the festivities.”
Other attractions include a Winston Churchill lookalike delivering his famous speeches, canal boat trips, and steam railway and vintage bus rides.
Lesley Adams, chairman of the BBI, said she was hoping for bumper crowds and said: “Last year we had 100,000 visitors and this year we could have even more.”
To view a programme of events, visit www.brighouse1940sweekend.co.uk.