THE night sky above Marsden glowed red at the weekend as crowds flocked to a popular festival.
And not even the miserable weather could put a dampener on the spectacular fiery entertainment at the 19th annual Imbolc Festival.
Over 2,000 people braved the rain to flock to the village to watch the stunning torchlit procession and theatrical performances.
The renowned community festival signals the beginning of spring.
The event kicked off in style with a torchlit procession from the railway station car park to the Standedge Tunnel entrance, where most of the performances took place.
Many in the crowd joined in the march to Tunnel End, which was led by the fire-bearers and a spectacular fire cart illuminated by 50 torches.
At Tunnel End many more people gathered to be entertained by bands, fire sculptures and a fire circus including fire-swingers, dancers and fire jugglers.
The canal also provided a stunning focus as it was illuminated by floating lanterns and two giant swans.
Families were wowed by the traditional battle between a gigantic Jack Frost, representing winter, and the Green Man, who symbolises spring.
As the winter chills were banished for another year, a massive sun rose as glittering fireworks illuminated the sky for the finale.
See our stunning picture gallery on Page 2.
Festival organiser Angie Boycott-Garnett said this years event was impressive as ever and praised the community for getting involved to make it a success.Related content
She said: The weather was appalling and we were worried that a lot of people wouldnt come because there was no let- up at all.
But it went brilliantly well and it was very heartening to see so many out on a night like that when we had put so much work into it.
All of the displays worked fantastically and people were saying this was the best festival yet.
Its something that we are tremendously proud of, and theres always a fantastic atmosphere with people coming from all over to take part.
When we started we had a couple of hundred people, but now theres many more than that involved in the festival.
Theres been lots of preparation in the run-up to this years event and lots of people have been involved with the lantern-making and fire skills workshops.
The festival is about everything starting up again and new beginnings and I think people can relate to that.
There is also a great community spirit to it as people become a part of it and learn new skills.
Imbolc marks the time when the earth begins to wake up after its winter sleep.
The 2,000-year-old Celtic festival marks the first signs of spring, with fire and purification an essential aspect.
The lighting of candles and fire represents the return of warmth and the increasing power of the sun over the coming months.