FANCY dress teams will be able to compete at this year's World Poohsticks Championships to a musical soundtrack.

Organisers of the world-famous West Oxfordshire tournament have announced they are re-introducing team games after a hiatus last year.

They have also revealed this year's competition will have live music, being arranged by the team behind Witney Music Festival.

Both announcements are a boost for the Winnie the Pooh-themed festival, which moved to a bridge over the River Windrush in Witney last year after after 31 years in South Oxfordshire.

The Rotary Club of Oxford Spires, which organises the contest, said it was delighted to be bringing back team events.

President Karen Eveleigh said: "Teams have previously dressed up in fancy dress, not necessarily related to Winnie the Pooh, and this has created a great atmosphere for the spectators and also all the volunteers who help run this great community fun day."

This year's championships will be held on Langel Common, Witney, on Sunday, June 5.

Witney Music Festival chairman Eric Marshall said he was looking forward to organising live music on the day.

He said: "The vision for the Witney Music Festival is to build community through music, so we are delighted to be working with the Poohsticks Championships.

"We have some amazing musical talent in Witney and it's great to work with events like this to give local musicians a platform for their music and to bring the community together to celebrate."

Event organisers are also this year celebrating the 95th birthday of the original Winnie the Pooh bear, purchased for AA Milne's son Christopher Robin by his mother at Harrods in London for his first birthday.

To mark the occasion, the rotary club is calling on Oxfordshire schoolchildren to bring a birthday card along to the event, which members will then send to the New York Public Library, where the toy bear now lives.

In September 2015, club member Lesley Adams visited the library, to present honorary Rotary membership to Winnie the Pooh himself.

The very first Winnie the Pooh was published on October 14, 1926, some 90 years ago this year – the same year that Queen Elizabeth II was born.

This year also marks the 60th anniversary of AA Milne’s death, the 20th anniversary of Christopher Robin’s death and the 40th anniversary of the death of EH Shepard – the books' illustrator.

The annual Poohsticks championships, inspired by the game in AA Milne's Winnie the Pooh, was held at Day's Lock at Little Wittenham near Didcot for 31 years.

But in 2015, the organisers announced the event had grown so popular there was no longer room for hundreds of competitors and spectators to park.

The rotary club put out an appeal through the Oxford Mail to find a new home, and, two months later, was offered the field in Witney.