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Sunshine, laughter, thrills and great fun for all at Streetfest

By Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  Posted: June 25, 2014

  • 1. The crowd enjoying acts at the Ashbourne International Streetfest 2014. 2. Mr Vita performing for the audience. 3. Simon Airey of Part Animals entertains youngsters. 4&5. Rewinds, The Travel Agents, in action. 6. The audience watching an act called Trolleys. 7. A member of the public relaxing in the street. 8. Mike Raffone gets the public participating in 'YMCA'. 9. The streets of Ashbourne were busy with members of the public. 10. A youngster gets a good view of the acts. 11&12. Aerial Manx performing. 13. Act The Wardens give a thumbs-up to the festival. 14. Lasso artist Miss Red. 15. Members of the public watching the shows. 16. Amber Sharma, six, gets friendly with a snake from the Party Animals act.

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Visitors in their thousands flocked to Ashbourne this weekend to enjoy the International Streetfest. Reporter Carolyn Bointon was a volunteer marshall on Saturday and chatted with some of the people watching the acts.

STREETFEST brought theatre, comedy, dance and circus skills to the streets of the town and was packed full of acts from around the world, with performers from Australia, Hawaii, the US and Spain spectacularly entertaining the crowds.

And, of course, the ever-popular Wardens made an appearance, empowered for two days only to invent and enforce any rule or law they see fit.

This year, they issued tickets for infractions such as breathing too loudly, walking on pavement cracks without a permit, wearing a loud shirt in a built-up area and possession of an offensive child.

Alan Pye, 60, from Skipton, said: "It is great fun for all the family, there is something for everyone. My favourite are The Wardens."

Sally Jones from Beeston particularly enjoyed watching the C-12 Dance Theatre's spectacular show – Trolleys.

She said: "Who would have thought supermarket trolleys could be so graceful? They' re not that easy to move when I go shopping – but perhaps next time I will try some trolley ballet in the aisles and see what I can do."

Lesley Widdop, 60, Skipton, was looking forward to the whole day. She said: "It is the best free festival in Britain. It's a very high standard, very varied and always good weather."

And Lucy Dodd, from Burntwood, near Cannock, had a shock when her family arrived in Ashbourne on Saturday morning.

She said: "We came here not realising this was happening so it has been a real treat."

Snap Boogie, from the USA, was a semi-finalist in America's Got Talent 2011 and proved to be a big hit with his freestyle street dance style.

Annie Webster, from Ashbourne, said: "It almost feels like we are abroad – the sunshine, the happy, vibrant atmosphere, the performers from all around the world all blending together for an amazing family day out.

"Well done Ashbourne Festival for lifting all our spirits."

Chris Waker, chairman of Ashbourne Arts was delighted with the weekend.

He said: "This year's Streetfest was exceptional. We were lucky with the weather, and once again people came from far and wide to enjoy this fabulous event.

"Thanks to funding from the Arts Council, local councils, local traders and other fund raising activities we were once again able to put on amazing acts, from sword swallowing to dancing with shopping trolleys.

"The feedback from audiences has been tremendous and all the entertainers love visiting Ashbourne, because we give them such a great welcome."

The two-day event costs more than £25,000 to stage, and relies on a huge team of volunteers to ensure it all runs smoothly on the day.

Chris said: "We always welcome more financial help and hope that any traders that have benefited from the event will be able to back us for next year.

"Thank you to the people of Ashbourne for once again supporting us and putting up with all the disruption it causes."

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