AN exciting colourful parade featuring larger than life characters will help draw crowds in during the opening weekend of a Basingstoke arts festival.

Basingstoke Festival 2022 will return on Friday, June 24 and will run until Sunday, July 10, with three weekends of free outdoor theatrical productions, breath-taking street theatre and music and dance performances in the town centre.

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In order to kick off the festivities community groups and schools from across the borough will come together during a colourful and musical parade in celebration of this year’s festival theme – diversity.

The Together Parade will see large towering giants, larger than life snails and colourful Indian elephants from carnival company Global Grooves, a gigantic lion made by Basingstoke-based Scratchbuilt Productions and other costumes last seen at the Jubilee pageant in London.

Also in the line-up is Distant Drums, a dynamic and thought-provoking experience that tells the story of Reggae Sound System culture and its role in the fight for racial equality.

Performances will take place at 12 noon and 2.30pm on June 25 and 26 in the Top of the Town.

Altered States will present The Invisible Man, a new strolling interactive street theatre performance using a mixture of magic, puppetry and audio-visual projection and offering residents the chance to come face to face with the man who isn’t there. Performances start at 11.30am and 2pm at the Triumphal Gates at the Top of the Town.

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And for younger festival goers, Pif Paf Theatre Company will be performing Seed, a surprising and inspiring hitch-hike on the journey from small acorns to great oaks with a rockabilly tree-planting anarcho-nomad called Wilford. Performances will take place at 1pm and 3pm at the amphitheatre in Festival Place.

On Saturday June 25 and Sunday, June 26, Corrine Marsh with community artists from ArtWell, will be in the town centre creating new works of art on street furniture as part of the Streets Alive project and answering residents questions.

For more information on Basingstoke Festival and how to take part, visit or follow @BasingstokeFestival on Facebook and @BstokeFestival on Twitter and Instagram.

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