ONE of the most popular costumes in Knutsford Royal May Day will be a little easier to bear this year. For organisers are getting new support harness attached to the Jack in the Green outfit.

That is one of the many finishing touches being created for the 145th procession.

Meanwhile, last week volunteers were packing dozens of costumes as others repaired parts of the equipment.

“Everything is under way,” said secretary Anne de Ruiter.

“I shouldn’t say this, but everything seems to be going quite smoothly.”

The 145th Royal May Day will begin at 2pm, on Saturday, May 2.

There are going to be few changes to this year’s festival.

Organisers have scrapped plans to change the route to save money.

Hundreds of children were recently assigned their roles at the Civic Centre, in Toft Road.

They will collect the costumes on Friday next week.

On May 2, the roads on the route will close at 1.30pm.

Parking will be available on the Little Heath and Knutsford Football Club's pitch.

The procession will set off from Marshall's Yard, at 2pm, and be joined by the May Queen's court at the Sessions House, in Toft Road.

Hundreds of characters and decorated lorries will then make their way along the streets to the Heath.

The May Queen, Katie Smith, will then be crowned by Ben Sanders.

Spectators can also enjoy dancing and the Maypole.

Last week, Mrs de Ruiter said the performers had been practising for about four hours each week on Fridays and Saturdays, since February.

“The instructors work very hard and put in a lot of hours,” she said.

“The children have been very good and well behaved.”

Earlier this year the Guardian revealed the cost of policing the Royal May Day had increased by at least £700.

Cheshire Police will charge organisers £4,200 to send 37 officers to the event and to close several roads.

The entire event is expected to cost organisers about £31,000 this year.

Mrs de Ruiter said the event was unlike any other in the country.

She often begins to get excited about the festival during the preparations on the Friday.

“That’s when everything is arriving and going up,” she said.

“We’re just hoping now that the weather stays a bit drier.”

Royal May Day programmes are available for £1.50 at shops in Knutsford.