THIS year will be the fifth Bridport Hat Festival and organisers say it promises to be the biggest and best yet.

They expect more people than ever to flock to town for what is now a well-established charity event. But to make sure as much money as possible is raised and everything runs smoothly the committee needs more volunteers to steward and rattle a few tins on Saturday, September 6.

Committee chairman Brian Atkinson said: “Volunteers may wear more than one hat when they throw their hats into the ring to help support us. For instance they may pass the hat around the circle for our two hat related charities this year.”

This year’s event is even more family friendly with many new activities for the children to include the children’s entertainer Professor Paradox. The Hank Wangford and the Lost Cowboys concert will be held at Bridport Arts Centre on Friday, September 5. Tickets will be on sale from mid July from the Bridport Tourist Information Centre.

As last year the committee is putting on an auction of hats.

Any hats for sale can be brought to Snook’s hat shop in West Street for the auction to be held at the West Dorset Club in South Street on Thursday, August 28 at 8pm.

Mr Atkinson added: “The evening is not to be missed, a brilliant fun evening. There will be more activities for children and the event promises to be a fun day for all the family.”

This year the festival’s chosen charities are Brain Tumour Research and the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust.

There are competitions for milleners and hatters and prizes for the best woman’s, best gentleman’s, best girl’s, best boy’s, best dressed window and most elegantly hatted couple.