THERE was fun in the sun as hundreds of people headed to the Town Gardens for the first weekend of the Old Town Festival.

The festival was officially opened in the bandstand at 12.30pm on Saturday, with stalls, music and dancing across the park to keep everyone entertained.

Celebrations continued on Sunday and festival chairwoman, Carol Gibbon, said they were pleased so many people had come along.

“We are really delighted the weather held off,” she said. “We know we are doing the right thing for the community and people are coming out and just having fun.

The Kentwood Choir got the crowds singing along when they took to the stage at The Bowl.

There were also performances from Swindon Academy of Dance, Danzone, Commonweal Performing Arts and Stagecoach.

The festival was opened in the company of this year’s Carnival Queen, Charlie Asprey, 12, and Carnival Princess, Lahni Burns, eight.

Charlie, who is a pupil at Commonweal School, said: “Being Carnival Queen is nerve-wracking but it is really exciting. I have been dancing with Commonweal for the festival. I’m looking forward to taking part in the parade next week.”

Lahni, who is a pupil at Lethbridge Primary School, said: “Being Carnival Princess isn’t how I imagined. I didn’t think it would be as fun as this. I have been dancing with Lethbridge for the carnival too.”

There were food stalls, bouncy castles and acoustic entertainment in the bandstand during the day.

Warren Messenger and Hayley Mitchell, of Old Town, were at the festival with Isabella, two, and Madison, five.

“I am always in the park and I saw the advertisement. It is just so nice to get together with people and see all of Madison’s school friends,” said Hayley.

“We have been on the bouncy castle and had a look at the stalls.”

The festivities continue this week with the Brian Bridgeman Memorial Walk on June 19, a Jubilee Choral Concert on June 20 at Christ Church, a piano recital by Paul Turner on June 21 and the Histories and Mysteries of Swindon Walk on the same day. A four-course hog roast will take place on The Lawn on June 22 too.

Next weekend will see a parade and a dog show taking place. The parade leaves The Lawn at 11am on Saturday.

There will also be a free concert in the marquee on The Lawn from 5pm until 10.30pm on Saturday.

For tickets for the paid events or for a full schedule visit or phone Jenny on 01793 536614 or Carol on 01793 522955.