THE countdown to the Calne Summer Festival and Carnival is underway as organisers make last-minute preparations for the big day.

Streets in Calne will be filled with colour, music and stalls for one of the biggest events in the market town’s calendar on Saturday, June 30, and organisers say that this year the festival, with the theme of books, will be bigger and better than ever.

A packed schedule of events for people of all ages has been planned for the day, starting at 11am.

Visitors can follow the yellow brick road into the Town Hall on The Strand for refreshments and a pre-loved book sale, or browse the variety of games and craft stalls lining the streets hosted by local schools and community groups.

Children’s author M P Robertson, who wrote The Great Dragon Rescue, will be hosting a workshop at 1pm and a book signing at 2.30pm at the Community Hub and Library.

Mimi Thebo, also a children’s author, will be hosting a talk at 1.45pm and a book signing at 2.30pm.

Classic Punch and Judy shows are being shown at Marden Bridge at 1pm and 2.15pm and morris dancers will be performing at Lower Church Street and The Strand throughout the day.

There will also be performances from Calne Silver Band and the Rockin Bandits Xpression Street Dance, donkey rides, a petting farm, and performances in a Sea Sphere by a mystical mermaid.

At 4.30pm the carnival procession will begin from Bremhill View, finishing at 5pm with hundreds of school children, families and residents taking part with book-themed floats and decorated walking group.

Event organiser Erin Weaver said: “This year’s event is set to be bigger and better than all previous carnivals in the town, focusing on the theme of books with an assortment of local traders and entertainment which is sure to appeal to all the family.”