THOUSANDS enjoyed the carnival feel at the Cricklade Festival.

Festival-goers, stallholders, dancers, drummers and a mechanical sheepdog called Sheridan thronged the High Street.

It was hard to top the baking temperatures and carnival feel of last year’s festival, but organisers said the light winds kept people staying longer on Sunday.

Jo Wynne, vice-chairman of the festival organising committee, said: “It’s been absolutely fantastic. We’ve had loads of people down the High Street. The acts have been fantastic, there’s loads happening.

“I was lucky enough to hold an owl on my hands on the festival field and we’ve had a great comedy dance act, called Two Left Feet, who do a different take on the pasodoble. I do a bit of ballroom dancing, but it’s a little bit different to that.”

The festival kicked off at 11am with a fancy dress parade. The theme this year was beasts, birds and bugs. Organiser Jo said: “We had someone carrying an inflatable elephant. The band played at the front and we had any elephant behind.”

“As soon as this year finishes we will be sitting down and finding out what we could do differently next year.”

She expected around 7,000 people to visit the festival. 30 volunteers were helping to ensure the festival’s smooth running.

Performances ranged from Britain’s Got Talent puppeteer Damon Scott and steel drum band Pantasy to the Chippenham Morris Men and rescue demonstrations at Cricklade fire station.

Paul Jarmey, watch manager at Westlea fire station, came to demonstrate how firefighters cut the roof from a crashed car. He said: “These events are always good to raise awareness of what the fire service does. These demonstrations also raise awareness of any safety campaigns we run.”

John Richards, member of Birmingham-based Pantasy Steel Band, was hosting a steel drum workshop after performing on the main stage: “We’re just here for people to come along and say, ‘How does it work?’ Steel drums have a beautiful sound.”

Scouts expected to sell 1,800 ducks for their annual rubber duck race at the bottom of the town. It is the 28th year the fundraising races have been put on. Martin Ferm, group scout leader, said: “The Thames is running quote fast today. In previous years we’ve struggled with the amount of water. It’s about six inches higher than last year.”

Visitors came to the festival from all over the country. Bristol dad Jonathan Adcock, 32, said: “We’ve just got here, but I enjoyed see the sheepdog riding the tricycle.”

That sheepdog - a mechanical toy from Northamptonshire - kept children entertained along the High Street. Debbie Skull, 34, from Royal Wootton Bassett, asked her twin toddlers whether they’d seen a dog riding a tricycle before. “Yes,” they replied. Asked about the festival, Debbie said: “It’s really good. The boys are enjoying it.”