BASINGSTOKE Festival is in full swing – and last weekend saw a feast of family-orientated fun.

The multicultural World Party extravaganza attracted scores of people to Eastrop Park, and they weren’t about to be put off by the rain.

The annual event in Eastrop Park, which celebrates different cultures from around the world, saw a range of performers entertaining the crowds.

There were a variety of musical and artistic shows throughout the day and plenty of stalls selling exotic cuisine and authentic keepsakes from around the world.

Elsewhere, youngsters were involved in creating a large-scale piece of street art in Top of The Town, using spray cans to decorate a large mural over Saturday and Sunday.

And in The Malls, street theatre act The Fairly Fresh Fish Company had shoppers in stitches as dancing prawns and an energetic octopus sprang up from what looked like a traditional seafood stall.

They were joined by acrobatic strong men Acro Chaps last Saturday, whose gymnastic routines and shows of strength delighted the crowds.

On Sunday, the sun came out, much to the delight of those enjoying a wide range of family-friendly performances in The Malls, Festival Place and Top of The Town.

The Bread and Butter Theatre Company had shoppers in Festival Place up and dancing while comedy group Swank dispensed some barmy make-overs in The Malls from their bright pink, mobile musical make up trolley.

Basingstoke Festival co-ordinator Julia Tymukas said: “Family audiences were mesmerised by Scratchbuilt Production’s The Bonkers Balloon Show which included music and action from Jaws, James Bond and Star Wars.

“Many parents and children were lured on to the stage where the actors created incredible hats and props out of balloons.

“After the show, the children had the opportunity to learn how to sculpt balloons into all manner of amazing hats and decorations.”

There was also juggling and circus skill workshops available which people of all ages enjoyed and the smoke and fire breathing dragon head, from Dragon Heart Beat, entertained alongside performers from North Hampshire Academy of Dance.

This weekend is Top Hat Weekend in Top of The Town, The Malls and Festival Place. The event will feature music and fun from buskers and street acts. For more information, visit