On Saturday 1st June, Accrington will host a spectacular war re-enactment to commemorate the 80th anniversary of D-Day.

The re-enactment will take place at 1 pm on the grounds of St James’ Church and will feature a performance from a Lone Piper from the world-famous Accrington Pipe Band.

The re-enactment will showcase a battle between the Germans and the Americans including parachutes draping from trees, an incredible machine gun nest plus military vehicles and many surprises along the way. The public will be allowed an in-person photocall with the re-enactors after the event.

Organisers of the free-to-attend event, #AmazingAccrington, who are running the re-enactment as part of the 2024 Accrington Food Festival, are inviting re-enactors to attend in 1940s dress to create a magnificent 1940s scene which will also feature 1940s singers within the St James’ Church grounds on Cannon Street and later on the town square, with plenty of opportunities for visitors to enjoy a swing dance.

#AmazingAccrington is also inviting anyone with military vehicles to attend the event. To book in your military vehicle, email editor@amazingaccrington.co.uk

New to the event in 2024 is the chance to enjoy the ultimate flying experience with a Spitfire flight simulator, for ages 10 and above. Visitors will get the opportunity to take control of an iconic WWII Spitfire simulator, with fully functioning controls and instrumentation. A chance to get as close as possible to flying the real thing, the simulator is a 1 to 1 scale with many original parts, offering multiple scenarios including free flight, take-offs, landings and dog fights.

A WWII jeep will also be in attendance for visitors to take a selfie with, while popular estate agents Pendle Hill Properties will be returning to the festival with their Candy Bomber commemoration, handing out 250 Hershey bars and 250 parachutists on a first come first served basis from 2 pm, to celebrate the famous Candy Bomber, Col. Gail Seymour Halvorsen, an American pilot who gained fame for dropping candy to German children during the Berlin airlift of 1948.

The event will also feature an extra special competition for local Primary School children, with U11s invited to collect stamps from three different areas in the town, before posting their entry cards into a 1940s-themed suitcase, which will be hidden within the grounds of St James’ Church.

Stamps will need to be collected next to a spectacular cultural display in the Arndale, from a land girl who will be located near the ‘Farm to Plate’ produce stalls at the food festival, as well as from a 1940s-style Spiv, who will be wandering around St James’ Church throughout the day.

Prizes up for grabs include £80 for the winner (D-Day), £60 for second place (Vita) and £50 for third (Hyndburn Borough Council). The different denominations of prize money have been selected based on key celebrations at the event. The £80 marks the 80th anniversary of D-Day, the £60 represents the 60th anniversary of main sponsor Vita Accrington and the £50 prize marks the 50th anniversary of headline sponsor Hyndburn Borough Council.

The event, which is also being sponsored by local tech firm Sundown Solutions, takes place between 10am and 4pm on Saturday 1st June and will include international, regional and local food stalls, as well as Hyndburn Independents around the town, and a main stage featuring Netflix TV star and celebrity chef Molly Robbins and local chef Paul Fox, owner of the Crafty Fox.

With over 60 stalls to choose from, the food will celebrate the very best of Lancashire produce including a new ‘Farm to Plate’ offering courtesy of BBC Radio Lancashire presenter, Stephen Lowe.

There will also be fairground rides, and a fantastic cultural display in the Arndale, while the extremely popular Finch Bakery will be exhibiting with their food trailer.

Murray Dawson, Chair of #AmazingAccrington, said: “We are delighted to be marking the 80th anniversary of D-Day with some excellent activities taking place at the Accrington Food Festival.

“Not only are we hosting our popular re-enactment, but we have 1940s singers, an incredible Spitfire flight simulator, a competition to involve primary school children from across Hyndburn and much more!”

A Council spokesperson, said: “The Accrington Food Festival is a great community event and one which we look forward to every year with great excitement.

“There will be a fantastic display of food and drink stalls at the event and we urge everyone to come down and embrace both #ShopLocal and amazing Lancashire produce.”

Keep up to date with the latest updates and announcements on the event by visiting www.amazingaccrington.co.uk