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Spectacular carnival parade and Star Trek event at Mirfield Arts Festival

There were birds and butterflies in abundance at a colourful carnival parade to mark the climax of Mirfield Arts Festival.

Hundreds of people lined the street to watch the parade which fully reflected the festival theme of Mirfield Takes Flight.

The procession, organised by Callalloo Carnival Arts, featured participants decked out as wild, weird and wacky winged creatures.

The sun shone for festival goers who had enjoyed a weekend of music, drama, poetry, arts and crafts – and Star Trek – at a dozen venues across the town.

Live music was provided by the likes of street performers The Famous Ski Band, Spen Valley Scout and Guide Band, Musica Mirfield, the East Steel Band and the self-styled Fastest One Man Band in the World.

There were performances by West Yorkshire Drama Academy and a performance of Maison Foo’s Person Birds, in which a scientist crosses people with birds and things go horribly wrong.

Rod Dimbleby, chairman of the Council of the Yorkshire Dialect Society, entertained with Yorkshire dialect stories and poems while poets Ralph Dartford, Genevieve Carver, Genevieve Walsh and John Darwin shared their observations on life. Author Deborah Andrews read from her debut novel, Walking the Lights, while members of the public with a poetic bent were invited to read from their works at an open mic session called Talking Zebras.

Artists Lisa Stubbs and Gillian Tyler demonstrated the art of children’s illustration at an event called Frogs, Bears and Unicorns, which included print-making sessions. Other creative activities included demonstrations from the Birstall Wood Turners – with a chance for visitors to make things themselves under expert supervision.

Mirfield Martial Arts Club gave demonstrations of Aikido while the festival also included a pop-up sculpture park, sales of arts and crafts materials and a photography exhibition. There was a six-mile Festival Walk, free canal trips with the Safe Anchor Trust, skyfall trampolining and outdoor games for children including pre-school gymnastics from the Tumble Bees.

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Meanwhile, there was plenty to keep die-hard sci-fi fans happy – as befits the home town of Capt Jean-Luc Picard himself, Sir Patrick Stewart.

Attractions for fans of Star Trek included a mock-up of the bridge of the Starship Enterprise complete with the famous captain’s chair; a display of original Stark Trek costumes, a dealers’ fair and a chance to relax at the Enterprise Cafe.

Friday night featured a showing of the Star Trek film First Contact while the weekend highlights included a display of works by Canadian artist Emei Ma based on the Star Trek universe.

Experts were also on hand to help people create their favourite spaceships from the movies, such as the Enterprise and the Millennium Falcon and Tie Fighters from Star Wars.

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