LEADING Michael Jackson tribute performer Navi will be the headline act as Cartmel’s 2011 season opens with a feast of pre-racing entertainment for the many fans flocking to the evening meeting on Saturday, May 28.

In a new twist to what has become a regular theme on racecourses around the country, the live show will take place before racing rather than after it, giving every racegoer the chance to enjoy the show.

The Bay will be hosting a roadshow which is due to begin at 2.30pm and run through to 5pm. As well as Navi, entertainment will be provided by the Kittycat Dolls and The Coverboys. Racing begins with the first race at 6.05pm.

Live entertainment will feature for the first time at Cartmel this year, although only before four of the seven meetings this summer, the two evening meetings on May 28 and Thursday, August 25 as well as the Bank Holiday Monday fixtures on May 30 and August 29.

On Monday, May 30, Channel 4 presenter Derek Thompson will be bringing his own brand of interactive fun to the racecourse stage.

The shops in Cartmel village will also be getting into the swing of things ahead of the season, which opens with a three-day card on May 28, May 30 and Wednesday June 1.

The racecourse is sponsoring a competition for the best shop window display with a racing theme and there promises to be a strong turn-out from local businesses keen to get involved.

The three-day May Bank Holiday fixture always pulls in plenty of racing visitors to Cartmel, so the village shops will be all out to attract them with eye-catching displays.

Judging will take place in the week before the meeting, and the winner will be announced before racing on the Saturday evening.