A FESTIVAL is hoping to capture a town's imagination as it returns for a second year.

Saturday marks the start of Carterton Celebrates, a nine-day programme of events, workshops and competitions showcasing everything residents have to offer.

A day-long carnival kicks off the festivities, with attractions ranging from a murder mystery play to a town treasure trail.

Carterton's clubs and societies can strut their stuff thanks to Sue James and her daughter Kayleigh Hines, who spearhead the festival.

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Mrs James admitted last year's Carterton Celebrates struggled to attract significant backing from the town, but hopes it can build some momentum this year.

She said: "We hoped it might be something that might grow, so we thought we would give it another go and more people and businesses have come on board.

"It's bright and colourful and can bring people together in support of Carterton.

"There's an awful lot of good stuff going on and that's what the week's about."

The nine-day celebration begins with the carnival procession in the Market Square at 11am, before revellers head to Carterton Recreation Ground from midday.

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After a rest on Sunday, several organisations will open their doors throughout next week with a host of taster events.

The treasure trail and the 'Capture Carterton' photography competition will run throughout the festival, which will see the town decorated in displays by Carterton Flower Club.

New additions this year include an alumni event for past Carterton Community College pupils and staff, while the festivities will end with an open mic night at the Grapes and Tomatoes bar next Sunday evening.

To drum up interest, Mrs James, 53, and her daughter, 29, printed 10,000 brochures, funded by Carterton Town Council, to distribute across the area.

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The Carterton resident said: "Kayleigh does all the fancy designs on the computer. It's really nice to have a project with your daughter.

"This is an exciting time for Carterton."

The festival comes a month after Mrs James was awarded a British Empire Medal in this year's Queen's Birthday Honours, for services to the charity Save the Children.

For a full list of events visit cartertoncelebrates.com