ONE of Leigh's most iconic green spaces is celebrating 100 years of history.

Starting on June 5, Lilford Park will be kicking off its weekend of centenary celebrations with a re-enactment of the park's 1915 opening day parade.

Lilford Park was opened by Mayor Joseph Ashworth after years of campaigning to give the people of Leigh an open park space.

To commemorate the historical event children from six neighbouring primary schools will all be joining the parade alongside the Mayor of Wigan Borough.

Children will be dressed in costumes representing groups that would have been in attendance at the official opening 100 years earlier.

The parade will start at 1.30pm on Friday in Library Square leading up to the gates and into the park and once inside the park Ponts Fun Fair will be running throughout the day for children and families to enjoy.

Lee McStien a Vice-Chairman of Friends of Lilford Park said: "It will be a great weekend for all who are interested in the community. It is a massive and monumental celebration of a large part of local heritage. There will never be a centenary event for the park again."

On Saturday and Sunday the celebration will continue from 11am until 4pm with a huge number of activities and events including heritage displays, live theatre, musical performances and exhibitions from over 30 of Leigh's community organisations.

There will also be Leigh archives and local studies collecting peoples memories of the park on the day which can be written or audio recorded, which will then be able to be listened to at a listening post in Leigh Library.

The weekend which will run until June 7 was made possible after a successful bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund by Healthy Arts.

Julie McKiernan, Chair of Healthy Arts said: "For me Lilford Park is a fantastic park but it has been neglected as it is outside the town centre so people don't notice it the same.

"It is such a beautiful park and I think if people knew the history of it and how hard it was to actually get it they might appreciate it more.

"Mayor Ashworth wanted it to be a park for the working people to go to and be able to relax and enjoy.

"I don't think people realise how hard it was to get the park in the first place.

"The Friends of Lilford Park are really trying to bring the park back to life.

"The centenary celebrations is an opportunity for people to think about what they want from the park and how we can protect it for the next 100 years."