SPRING came to Marsden at the weekend and the crowds went `cuckoo' in celebration.
The 13th annual Cuckoo Day festival has been hailed a triumph by organisers and villagers alike.
The festival celebrates the legend that villagers once tried to build a wall around the cuckoo that heralds the start of spring to try make the warm weather stay throughout the year.
The fun started on Friday with a walk around the village and the telling of the cuckoo legend.
This was followed by a night of folk music in the Riverhead Brewery Tap and plenty of pints of commemorative beer - called Ruffled Feathers - were sunk.
Although it was cold and misty on Saturday morning the warm sunshine soon broke through the cloud and the crowds poured out in to the streets.
People travelled from across the region to take part in the day which has become a firm favourite in the village.
Outdoor entertainment included clog and morris dancing, maypole dancing, children's entertainers and rides at Wessen Court.
Marsden Silver Prize Band performed outside the Mechanics Hall and later in the afternoon throngs of people gathered to cheer on participants in the Duck Race.
Indoors there were craft demonstrations, a tea dance, held at the Conservative Club, and youngsters were entertained by ballon-modelling maestro Simmo.
Organiser Barbara Armstrong said Cuckoo Day 2005 had been the biggest and best yet.
"The weather always plays a big part in whether or not the day is a success and, although it was cold and foggy first thing, it soon brightened up," she said. "We did very well and everything that was suppose to go on outside did.
"It is a credit to Marsden that so many villagers get out and support the event. There is a great community spirit and it really shines though on days like these.
"There was lots to do for everybody but I think the children and families enjoyed it the most.
"It has been 13 years now since the festival started and it seems to be getting better every year."
.TEXT: * Cuckoo Day is held to mark the start of spring. * It is based on an old legend which says that when the first cuckoo arrived in Marsden the villagers believed it would bring eternal spring. They built a wall around the bird to make it stay, but as the last stone was being placed, the cuckoo flew away.
* Cuckoo Day celebrations have been held in Marsden since 1993.
* Visitors from all over the UK now attend the annual event.