IT may have been miserable weather, but the appetite for all things creative couldn’t have been higher.
Hundreds of people braved the rain to take part in the opening weekend of this year’s Arts Festival in Holmfirth.
And organisers said they were delighted with the response to the event, which is celebrating its fifth year.
Highlights of the weekend included a lively concert by Manchester-based trumpeter Matthew Halsall. The musician, hailed as one of the UK’s brightest talents, was joined in the town’s Holy Trinity Church by the renowned Brighouse and Rastrick Band.
Another hugely popular evening of entertainment was provided by The Fitzrovia Radio Hour, a live theatre show which recreated the unique spirit of 1940s radio plays.
The show, direct from London’s West End, saw sound effects created live with ordinary items like a desk fan becoming an aeroplane.
Both performances were sold out by the time the first note was played.
Other events proving popular with people of all ages were the many workshops packed into the 11-day festival’s programme.
More than 150 children and adults flocked to take part in activities in Holmfirth Market.
These included drop-in workshops in rag rug making and ‘upcycling’, where participants were shown how to breathe new life into garments.
People ignored the rain showers and donned their wellies to join in a heritage walk, exploring the hidden textile history of the valley.
One of the weekend’s events, the creation of a sculpture using a tree trunk and chainsaw, had to be rescheduled to yesterday because of the downpour but then went ahead and the figure’s face was even set alight for a few seconds to add colour, light and shade and give it more definition.
Jonathan Best, the festival’s director, said: “It’s been going great. There have been hundreds of people out and about and trying different things.
“There’s been a few weather issues and it is a good idea to check with the website to make sure that everything is running.
“But it takes more than a bit of rain to put people off. The other night people were in high spirits and having hot dogs in the rain!”
The festival, which runs until this Sunday, still has plenty of fun events to offer in the coming days.