THIS year’s Winsford Salt Fair and Regatta will take a step up when it is held on a Saturday for the first time.

The event, celebrating the town’s salt mining heritage, was introduced by town council member, Cllr Steve Smith in his first mayoral year in 2012.

Cllr Smith says he always envisaged the fair growing into something huge for Winsford, but has been careful to expand it bit by bit each year.

Now in its sixth year, the five-day fair will officially include Saturday for the first time, and Cllr Smith says the event is ready for the step up.

“I’ve ran a lot of events in Winsford and I know from experience that it takes around five years for an event to grow into its full potential and I’m expecting the Salt Fair to gain momentum now.

“I’ve always had a vision for the Salt Fair but you can’t run before you can walk so we have to grow it slowly.

“Saturdays have now become shopping days really, so you always tend to see bigger turnouts on a Sunday, but we felt that this year was the right time to include the Saturday.

“Last year we ran the event Wednesday to Sunday, but the Saturday wasn’t part of it. We told the traders they could open on the Saturday if they wanted, but we didn’t have the arena or anything. This year Saturday is very much a part of the fair.”

The event will begin tomorrow, Wednesday, September 13, with the traditional reading of the Royal Charter granted to the town by King Edward I in 1280.

Thursday will see the civic opening of the Salt Fair by deputy town mayor Cllr Gina Lewis at 5.45pm on the Dene Drive car park. The opening ceremony will also include the crowning of this year’s Salt Queen, Amy Morton.

Friday will see the annual narrowboat parade which launches from the Winsford Marina at 4pm. The narrowboats will be under the expert skills of the River Weaver Navigation Society.

Mark Bailey, clerk for Winsford Town Council, said: “Things really hot up at the weekend, with a whole range of different attractions for young and old all based on the Marina Island in Winsford.”

Saturday will see a dog display, a tug of war, a suitcase circus, live music, martial arts displays, and dancing, before the Mikron theatre performance at 7.30pm.

Sunday will include a display from Vale Royal Falconry and more from the suitcase circus, live music and dancers. Salt Fair programmes are still on sale from the Town Council offices in Wyvern House, priced £1.