A WINCHESTER festival is coming back with a bang next year.

The second Worthys Festival was launched in Kings Worthy last week, with around 40 residents from the Worthys villages raising a glass to celebrate.

It follows the festival’s successful debut in September 2011 with Kings Worthy, Headbourne Worthy and Abbots Worthy combining to put on nine days of family fun.

The launch party was held at The Worthies Sports & Social Club, Loader Closer, on Wednesday, November 21.

Ward councillor and chairman of the steering committee Jane Rutter said the villages were very enthusiastic about the festival.

She said: “The festival programme is packed with activities to attract people of all ages and walks of life. I would like to thank our sponsors and our volunteers for all the effort that has already gone into the 2013 event.”

The event has secured support from Southern Electric (SSE), who will sponsor the marquee, and drinks company Bacardi Brown-Forman, which sponsors the festival-concluding fireworks display.

Craig Gilroy, SSE head of operation, said: “We’re a company with strong local connections in the communities where our staff live and work, and so we’re delighted to be able to contribute to such a major event in the local social calendar.”

The steering group is appealing for volunteers of all ages to help organise the festival, which will feature new attractions such as a film festival, gardener’s question time and a beer festival.

Old favourites like ‘Worthys Got Talent’ and the local band music festival also return.