THE days leading up to Cowdenbeath Gala Day are packed with fun and some sporting challenges.

This year's theme is Mardi Gras and it's set to be a carnival atmosphere on the town's big day.  

But there's plenty to enjoy befoire then and today it's the Jacky Allan five-a-side football tournament, at Cowdenbeath Leisure Centre from 4-6pm.

This is a primary school tournament and Crossgates PS will be looking to defend the title they won last year, with the final taking place at the gala on Saturday.

Also today is the Mary Maxwell Golf Tournament, at Cowdenbeath Golf Club, and anyone wishing to participate in the tournament should contact the club direct.

Tomorrow there's a pet show at Beath High School's community sse from 6-7.30pm. Introduce your pampered pet to one of the local vets from Inglis (who are also sponsoring the event). Dogs, hamsters, rabbits, cats, chickens..... all pets welcome.

The Civic Week Committee are absolutely delighted that Cowdenbeath Library have got involvced with a free story and craft event at the library at 6pm for children aged 4–10. 

Kids will get a story and then get to make their own Mardi Gras masks. Also going ahead is a bowls competition at Lumphinnans Bowling Club from 5-7pm. 

Local rinks are taking part and while there's always great sportsmanship on the greens, the teams are definitely in it to win it!

Friday is the day that the gala team get the floats for the local groups to decorate in readiness for the parade.

Then comes the big day on Saturday. Gala Day!

The parade leaves Woodend Industrial Park at approximately mid-day and starts to arrive at Beath playing fields at 1pm.

Gala committee secretary Claire Morgan said: "All groups taking part in the parade should aim to arrive at the start point no later than 11.30pm. We have arranged something special to head up the parade in keeping with our theme this year which is Mardi Gras.

"There will be a host of activities up the park for all ages to enjoy including the fairground, sideshows, stalls, performances from local groups and the primary school five-a-side football tournament.

"Local band No 1 Sun will be performing in the parade and up the park from 1.30-2pm. There will definitely be lots going on, we are just hoping that the weather behaves this year so that everyone gets to make the most of it!

"Then on Sunday, no rest for the wicked as the civic week team is back up for an early start to take the bunting back down and put everything back into storage!"