A LONG weekend of family entertainment is expected to draw thousands of fun-seekers to a County Durham market town.

The annual Barnard Castle Meet is one of the biggest and most popular events in Teesdale.

As always, the grand procession, this year led by carnival queen Mackenzie Mallet, will be the highlight.

The parade leaves the GlaxoSmithKline car park in Harmire Road at 1pm on Monday (May 25) but those wishing to enter the fancy dress contest should assemble between 10.30 and 11.30 for judging.

Other treats include a car treasure hunt from the cricket club in Vere Road today (Thursday, May 21) setting off at 6pm and priced at £5 per car.

Tomorrow (Friday, May 22), at Ten’s Field, a veterans’ football match will kick off at 5.15pm. Contact Mark Smith on 07730-575980 for more details.

On Saturday (May 23), at 8pm, a comedy night will be held at The Witham. Tickets cost £10 in advance or £12 on the door.

At 10.30am, on Sunday (May 24), a pet show will take place at Scar Top, with judging at 11am. Contact Angela Grady on 07891-105145.

This will run alongside a tabletop and car boot sale, which opens to sellers at 8am and the public at 9am.

Over at the castle, Castle Fest will offer up live music, refreshments and fun activities from noon to 8pm on Sunday and Monday (May 25).

Bands include Heavenly Thrillbillies, Jamie Farrel, Pete’s All Stars, Hip Hop Hooray and Rick Fury.

Castle Fest wrist bands cost £5 for one day or £8 for two days and children aged 16 and go free if accompanied by an adult.

Other attractions include photographic displays in the Witham Hall Gallery, from 10am to 4pm, each day, featuring more than 900 images from past Meets.