A FUN dog show, a Viking re-enactment and a host of summer attractions are set to mark the return of a popular festival after a 13-year absence.

The organisers behind last year’s Tour de Yorkshire events in Thirsk have joined forces with additional volunteers to stage a Thirsk and Sowerby Festival for the first time in more than a decade.

The free event is due to take place on Sunday, August 6 on the Flatts at Sowerby and organisers hope that it will become a local tradition and go on to become an annual festival for many years to come.

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David Duffey, one of the organisers, said the level of support shown for the Tour de Yorkshire community events in the Thirsk area was what had inspired the festival idea and hopes are high that the festival will be equally as popular.

He said: “The response we got from the cycle race events was fantastic, so we wanted to do something else along those lines.

“We are aiming it around families particularly and are making it free, which is obviously important as there is nothing worse than going somewhere with kids and then having to pay for every little thing.”

It is not just families that can have all the fun though, as four-legged visitors can get involved in a fun dog show run by the Jerry Green Dog Rescue Centre with classes such as best biscuit catcher, handsome hound and prettiest pooch.

Meanwhile, a host of homemade contraptions will take to the track in a fancy dress soap box race which promises to be an entertaining affair.

Other planned events include a children’s concert in Sowerby Church presented by Thirsk Sinfonia, a bouncy castle, a marching band, archery as well as numerous and varied stalls.

A historical re-enactment group will also take up arms for a display of Viking swordplay.

The festival is a non-profit event, with any money made after costs being donated to charities local to the Thirsk and Sowerby area - exactly which ones will be decided once the festival is over.

The organising group are now appealing for local companies to lend their support to the festival, either through sponsorship or donations - and stalls are still available to hire.

Local teams are also being encouraged to sign up for the soapbox race.

Further information about the event is available at the Thirsk and Sowerby Community Festival facebook page.

Anybody who wants to get involved in the festival in some way should e-mail duffey.david@gmail.com