Slideshow: Arts Fresco packs Harborough with sun, smiles and skills

Almost 10,000 people said “let’s go to Fresco” at the weekend, as the Midlands’ biggest street art festival returned to Market Harborough.

Near-perfect weather brought the crowds out in force on Sunday, to see street performers ranging from the classic juggling of Garaghty and Thom to the kangaroo double act of Icarus.

Swank with Mason Hallam and Jack R-B both 11 during the Arts Fresco in Harborough.'PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

Swank with Mason Hallam and Jack R-B both 11 during the Arts Fresco in Harborough.'PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

Arts Fresco committee chairman Martin Hill said: “It was an absolutely excellent year.

“Everybody enjoyed it and the feedback from the acts themselves was they loved the event and the crowds.”

Cllr Blake Pain, leader of Harborough District Council said: “Arts Fresco proved once again that it is one of the most popular and exciting events in the East Midlands.

“We are very proud to have supported it again this year and I’d like to congratulate all the organisers.”

Performers - most of whom are full-time street artists who work all over the world - agreed that Arts Fresco was a special event,

Comedy violinist Sid Bowfin (akaAdrian Garratt) said: “It’s really lovely to shut off a whole town centre and reclaim the streets like this festival does” he said. “It’s great for performers and great for spectators.”

“We don’t see many festivals that are so well organised” agreed kangaroo act Matt Mulligan. “And there are so many good acts here.”

“This is a big date on the street festivals calendar” agreed juggler Richard Garaghty, orginally from Desborough. “Everyone likes doing it.”

“We’re all about getting the whole family involved” said Circus Box boss Greg Wells. “That’s also what makes Arts Fresco so special.”

Returning old favourites included the remote controlled traffic cones, the madcap Edmond Tahl with his sound effects suitcase and the impressive sand sculpture - a giant toad - this year undamaged by late night hooligans, thanks to extra security.

Other favourites included the French brass band Les Grooms and the Scottish giant Big Rory, with his horribly undisciplined, water-spraying dog.

In the town’s Memorial Gardens, Room For Music’s director Martin Whiteman was encouraging local kids to try a musical instrument.

He said the organisation’s Market Harborough studio on Symington Rec should be open in November.