A HUGE smoke-breathing dragon will process through town to mark the launch of the 2014 Basingstoke Festival.

Dragon Heart Beat's creature, which is 18 feet tall, will begin its walk from the Banjo outside Debenhams at 12.45pm on Friday, May 30.

Accompanied by loud drums and colourful dancers, it will move up Wote Street to arrive outside the Willis Museum, Market Place, for a 1pm performance of approximately 20 minutes.

The dragon will be joined by Basingstoke’s North Hampshire Academy of Dance, who will perform a specially-choreographed piece. This launch performance will be repeated at 5.30pm in Market Square on the same day.

The third Basingstoke Festival, boasting a programme of more than 100 events, will run from June 20 until July 13.

Dragon Heart Beat will return to the town for the Festival's family weekend on Sunday, June 29.

Find out more online at basingstokefestival.co.uk.