POSSIBLY the largest “dot to dot” picture the world has ever seen will adorn the side of Capstone Hill in Ilfracombe on Sunday as the town hosts the first ever Ilfracombe Arts Festival.

The subject of the huge picture remains a secret but it is just the tip of the artistic iceberg which will hove into view from Thursday (June 23) as the town celebrates a four day art explosion, with a enormous variety of events at a host of venues.

The festival will include impromptu street theatre, art installations, music, poetry, photography, world cinema, crafts, workshops, theatre and more - and it is almost all free.

Ilfracombe Arts College, the newly formed Lantern Arts and North Devon Theatres, working with Ilfracombe Tourism Marketing Group, have put their heads together to create the colourful and extravagantly creative North Devon Festival event.

The Capstone event will take place at around 4pm on Sunday, following months of work by volunteers to produce vast lengths of colourful bunting to create their mystery picture.

Some highlights include a graffiti art workshop on Friday morning at Runnymede Gardens, the giant knitted gingerbread house created by Alison Murray, Art and Plankton at Ilfracombe Aquarium, Chocolate Workshops and so much more.

Random performances by characters from Alison in Wonderland plus giant heads will be popping up around the town too!

Poetry features strong and there is a Grand Poetry Night at the Epchris Hotel on Saturday, with the winners of the first Pound-a Poem Poetry Competition.

On Friday and Saturday during the day a Poetry Drop-In Shop and Poetry Workshops will be held in the Transform 4 Work at the Candar.

The Royal Britannia Hotel provides the stage for the Music and Poetry Night on Friday June 24th, organised and run by Dave Clinch, in an evening of Songs and poems of Love, Laughter and Struggle.

Tomorrow The Art of Life, a performance Ilfracombe Junior School will take place at the Landmark Theatre at 1.30pm and 3.30pm. It includes poetry and songs, sound effects and dance from the rainforest, songs and dancing from the Lion King, Victorian Britain and India.

On Saturday the theatre hosts a show by the highly regarded Paper Birds Theatre Company at 8pm. Call (01271) 324242 for tickets and information on both Landmark shows.

Throughout the festival exhibitions and activities will take place every day, with Ilfracombe Art and Craft Society exhibiting at Emmanuel Church Hall on the seafront each day 10.30am-4.30pm and 6.30-9.30pm.

Inspirational Ilfracombe is a four day exhibition at the museum of 18th and 19th century artists' interpretations of the town.

The Royal Britannia Hotel is holding an exhibition of work by local photographers every day, including the best entries this year's Ilfracombe Town Photographic Competition.

Green Men and Angels and other photos by photographer and children's poet Robin Mellor will be on display at Ilfracombe Parish Church throughout.

If it's all too much to take in at one go, why not pick up a programme at the TIC in the Landmark, venues around town or go to www.ilfracombe-arts-festival.co.uk.