Monday, July 21, 2014
Thousands flock to Pilton for annual festival.
RECORD crowds descended on Pilton for Green Man Day on Saturday.
Thousands flocked to the iconic annual festival, blessed with warm dry weather despite the threat of thunder storms predicted earlier in the week.
A riot of green lit up Barnstaple on Saturday morning to trumpet the start of the event, held in tradition of the historic fair and market charter granted by Edward III in 1344.
The procession of noise and colour set off from Barnstaple Square and along a busy High Street on its way to Pilton, where a real carnival atmosphere awaited.
Pilton Festival chairman Dave Butt said: “In many ways this was the biggest crowd we’ve had.
“A few stalls cancelled because of the weather forecasts earlier in the week but it was good to see the Met Office got it wrong for a change.
“It only started raining at three minutes to five, just before the road closure ended. The rain actually helped wash the street,” he joked.
Pilton Street and the Rotary Gardens – decked from top to bottom in green bunting – bustled with stalls, music stages and wandering performers throughout the day.
Two pageants were played out in the grounds of Pilton House, telling the story of how the Green Man – the ancient pagan symbol of nature – met the Prior of Pilton.
“There was something for everyone,” said Mr Butt.
“The festival is completely free and you don’t need to spend a fortune to have a good time,” he added.
“It was nice to see many families had brought picnics to eat in the Rotary Gardens.”
Mt Butt also thanked the festival’s dedicated committee, as well as a small army of volunteers.
“Clearing up afterwards is such a big issue for us; Sunday was almost as busy as Saturday,” he said.
“North Devon Council’s parks and waste teams were brilliant and fire fighters from Barnstaple blue watch helped take down all the bunting – it was a real community effort.”
Mr Butt also appealed for more help to keep the festival running. If anyone would like to offer their support for next year’s event, telephone 07818 037726 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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