HUNDREDS of people enjoyed watching amazing acts by circus performers and had the chance to have a go themselves at the Festival in the Park.

A sunny day full of acrobatics, juggling, daredevil feats and stunts marked the halfway point of the first Swindon Spring Festival. Families filled Lydiard Park to watch a packed programme of shows and try circus skills and music workshops.

Ali Spalding brought her grandchildren Cameron, seven, and Ruby, six to have a picnic in the park. Ali said: "Cameron and Ruby are learning circus skills at Lower Shaw Farm so they really enjoyed this. It's a very intellectual, creative and fun event, there should be more days like this."

Vanessa Bailey from Covingham watched the midday Lucas and Joni Show with her support worker Hollie Hall. Vanessa said: "It was amazing, I've never seen someone juggling on top of a ladder before, it was almost impossible to believe, I love the circus. We just came to the park to feed the horses, then we heard the music and decided to investigate, saw the show and listened to some storytelling, we've had a great time."

The day featured workshops from Falding's Fnadangos, Jacotb Hi-Ho, and Suitcase Sounds, Gwendolyn Scott's comedy rope-walking show Bampot, precision tricks from Dick Danger the pole dancer and a grand finale by the Farmyard Circus.

Eve While and her friend Mike Smith, both 67, tried their hand at hula-hooping and plate spinning. Eve said: "It was very good, it's wonderful that an event like this was put on. I didn't feel inhibited to try this out, why not be an idiot and have fun?"

The Literacy Trust took visitors along nature trails around the park, Create Studios showed guests how to make animations, wildlife-loving poet Rainbow Blue performed her poems, Penny Seviour celebrated The Very Hungry Caterpillar's 40th birthday with little ones, and storyteller John Row enthralled youngsters with interactive stories.

John said: "Everyone was participating in something and joining in, which was great, and I think Matt did a brilliant job pulling this off."

Swindon Spring Festival organiser Matt Holland said: "This is a dream come true, I love nothing more than seeing people having fun and learning something new, it's fabulous, children were trying new things and being inspired. People were even waiting to come in before the event started, it's exciting to have such an enthusiastic response."