Pictures: Pilton Green Man Day was ‘best yet’
- Credit: Archant
Thousands attend colourful village street festival.
THIS year’s Pilton Green Man Day has been hailed as the ‘biggest and most successful’ by event organisers.
Thousands of people flocked to the annual street festival on Saturday – one of Barnstaple’s most colourful and vibrant events in the summer calendar.
Scorching temperatures and a spectacular swathe of colour – mostly green – made for a real carnival atmosphere in Pilton Street and the neighbouring Rotary Gardens.
Pilton Festival chairman Dave Butt said: “The general consensus is that it was probably the biggest and most successful festival we’ve ever done.
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“The crowds usually tend to come in waves throughout the day but this year it was full-on from start to finish.
“I think the Pimms tent had completely sold out by 3.30pm despite our best efforts to keep re-stocking it with fresh fruit.
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“So many local people have said they enjoyed the day and that was really nice to hear.”
Bemused shoppers in Barnstaple High Street were given a flavour of the day when the Green Man led a riotous parade of costumed characters through the town to Pilton, which was already bustling with stalls, music stages and wandering performers by the time the procession arrived at around 11.30am.
The green cavalcade then made its way to the grounds of Pilton House where the first of two pageants were played out, telling the story of how the Green Man – the ancient pagan symbol of nature – met the Prior of Pilton.
The day wasn’t without its challenges for organises, who were up at the crack of dawn on Saturday to put the finishing touches to six months of preparations.
At one stage, they had to help ‘free’ two tourists in a caravan following sat-nav directions to Woolacombe. Later that afternoon, they also had to help clear the way for lorry drivers delivering fridge freezer to a house in Pilton Street.
“It was a challenge but we got there,” said Mr Butt, who thanked a dedicated committee, as well as a small army of volunteers.
“There is a hardcore committee of about 12 people who start planning the festival in January,” he said.
“But we also have help from a band of unsung heroes who volunteer their time to help make the day happen.
“They put on music, clear litter, run the pageant and parade, man stalls – we can’t thank these people enough.
“There were people helping out at 6am on Saturday morning and many were back the following morning to help with the clear-up.
“We also had fantastic support from local bodies such as the emergency services and the council; some even gave up their time on the days off to support the festival.”
Pilton was bustling with scarecrows during the festival – with 19 doted around the village, including nine in The Rock alone. More than 400 scarecrow cards were received by organisers.
St Mary’s Church ran a community art project during the festival with 114 people painting six-inch squares to make up a masterpiece.
Holman Hunt’s ‘Light of the World’ was made up from the images painted by visitors from four-year-old children to an 89-year-old lady.
Organiser Jeremy Bishopp said: “The enthusiasm of everybody involved was inspiring, and the eight feet by four feet picture is now on display in St. Mary’s Church.”
For more pictures, click on the gallery link at the top right of this page.