VIDEO: Rollicking good fun at Grantham Festival 2011

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THOUSANDS of people visited the first ever Grantham Festival, instilling confidence in organisers that it will become a popular annual event.

Around 73,000 people were recorded as being in the town centre on Saturday, following weeks of build-up to the big event.

Thrilling mountain bike stunt displays by MAD Bikes and gravity-defying parkour demonstrations gathered large crowds of spectators, while street entertainers had many shoppers in stitches.

Meanwhile, workshops teaching circus skills, arts and crafts, and African drumming among other activities attracted lots of families.

Grantham Festival was organised by South Kesteven District Council in conjunction with Belton Horse Trials organiser Bede.

SKDC’s David Mather said: “By working closely with all our partners we want to help Grantham flourish as a vibrant town that residents and visitors can be proud of.”

The theme of the festival was Grantham firsts and it was designed to showcase all that is great about our town. It was also hoped the festival would be a boost for businesses by increasing footfall.

Mr Mather said he hoped other upcoming events in Grantham’s calendar will further boost the town’s morale and economy, such as the Mid-Lent Fair, St George’s Day family day, Grantham Carnival and next year’s biennial science and arts festival.

He said: “We believe that this will create a dynamic new event against the historic backdrop that this town offers.”

The Journal’s Facebook friends have heaped praise on the first Grantham Festival.

Sophie Dufus Smith said: “It was a good atmosphere and nice to see so many people with different talents.”

Meanwhile, Lisa Marshall called the talented MAD Bikes riders “amazing”.