One swallow doesn’t make a summer – but it does herald the start of the popular Holmfirth Arts Festival.

Festival director Bev Adams turned a few heads when she walked through the centre of Holmfirth with an 8ft-long swallow called Sandy to promote the 2018 event, which gets under way this week and runs from Thursday (June 14) to Sunday (June 17).

Fittingly, one of the highlights will be a vibrant carnival parade of winged creatures through the centre of the town to take place at 2pm on Saturday (June 16),

Holmfirth Arts Festival, giant swallow parading through Holmfirth to promote the forthcoming activities. Bev Adams carries her creation.

Members of the local community have been busy creating a series of exotic bird costumes and flying machines for the parade with the help of Handmade Parade, of Hebden Bridge, and artist Chloe Williams, from The Children’s Art School.

Bev said: “In 2018 we are celebrating our 10th anniversary and we are using the festival to showcase newly commissioned work alongside top class theatre, spoken word, comedy, music and some brilliant participatory projects, many with a distinctly avian theme.”

Holmfirth Arts Festival, giant swallow parading through Holmfirth to promote the forthcoming activities. Bev Adams carries her creation.

The festival takes off with local band Huggy hosting a funky festival opening party on Thursday (June 14) at The Picturedrome.

Other attractions during the four days of the festival will include seven-piece ethno-jazz band Ubunye; Joanne Harris, author of Chocolat and her #Storytime Band providing quirky and darkly magical music and songs; and Japanese musician and composer ICHI, who will be in Holmfirth on Friday night – his only touring date in Yorkshire.

Holmfirth Arts Festival, giant swallow parading through Holmfirth to promote the forthcoming activities. Bev Adams carries her creation.

Tiff Stevenson, star of Mock the Week, Russell Howard’s Good News and Never Mind The Buzzcocks, will fly in fresh from the 02 in London to bring her brand of stand-up humour to Holmfirth on Saturday night.

On Sunday, the festival celebrates Father’s Day with a feast of family entertainment, starting with Topsy Turvy Theatre Company and their children’s show, Christopher’s Caterpillars, followed by Schwa’s eclectic mix of poems about birds set to beautiful music. At 4pm, there is a Tea Dance with a Twist, hosted by Spiltmilk Dance.

Holmfirth Arts Festival, giant swallow parading through Holmfirth to promote the forthcoming activities. Bev Adams carries her creation.

Hope & Social – billed as “a bit like a Yorkshire E-Street band” – will host the festival closing party at 6pm on Sunday at The Picturedrome with “energetic, joyful, danceable” music for all the family.

Festival brochures are available at Holmfirth and Huddersfield libraries and from a number of businesses in Holmfirth. Visit the website at www.holmfirthartsfestival.co.uk or follow the festival on Twitter #HAFest2016 and Facebook. To book tickets, go to Holmfirth library and tourist information centre, visit the website or phone Kirklees bookings on 01484 223200.