THE crowds came out in the sunshine as the second year of a town’s community and arts festival established itself as an annual event for the future.

Waterfoot Wakes, held at the weekend, was clearly already a favourite as hundreds came out for the big parade through the main streets — from Bacup and Rawtenstall Grammar School to The Play Park Stage.

It was the highlight of four days of celebration which organisers The Boo Theatre believe has established the festival as a regular fixture in the town for years to come.

More than 400 people came out in the warm weather on Saturday for the Waterfoot Wakes Parade, which brought the Rossendale town to life with the theme of heritage.

It was led by Cacophany Arkestra with representatives of local schools taking part and finished off by the Rossendale Drum Majorettes.

Michelle Darwen from The Boo Theatre said: “Waterfoot came to life with a fantastic weekend.

“More than 400 people came to watch Saturday’s big Wakes parade which was a joyous mix of colour, music and enthusiasm.

“It has really built on last year’s success, and Waterfoot Wakes will now be an annual event.

“We have plans to keep growing it. We’re asking those who came along for feedback as to what they liked, what they want to see return and what new ideas they have for the future.”

Alastair Price from Cacophany Arkestra worked with local Rossendale schools including Waterfoot Primary, St Nicholas CofE Primary Newchurch and St Anne’s CofE Primary Edgeside as well as local families in the area to produce work for the parade on this year’s theme of Heritage.

The groups chose their favourite piece of Rossendale archaeological heritage to recreate for the parade.

Mr Price said: “Working with the local schools was really great.

“They come up with some fantastic and surprising ideas.

“It was brilliant to get the children of Rossendale’s idea of heritage and find out what about their local community is really important to them.”

The festival which ran from Thursday evening to Sunday night featured music, drama, circus, Punch and Judy and puppetry performances at The Boo Theatre and other venues across Waterfoot.