RINGWOOD is gearing up for its inaugural International Festival of Street performance Art on May 18.

Living statues, sword swallowers, chainsaw juggling, buskers and choirs, bands and poets will be taking to the streets as part of a one-day spectacular organised by the newly-formed Fanfare for Spring group.

The festival, the brainchild of gallery owner and artist Roger Bettle, was launched after weeks of planning by a group of friends under the umbrella of the town’s Rotary Club.

It will include performers from Ringwood’s French twin town Pont Audemer, along with acts from Poland and India.

And now Ringwood Town Council has backed the event with a £1,000 donation.

Ringwood’s Seven Fish is putting on a festival menu, Finns in the Market Place will be adding music to their drinks list and a number of shops will have special window displays reflecting the Festival spirit. Mr Bettle said: “We now have shadow puppets, Punch and Judy, a caricaturist, storytellers and rock and brass bands.

“The day will be amazing with so much going on all over town.”

Principal of the Big Little Theatre Company Michelle Guy said: "Being a Ringwood-based academy of dance, song and drama, this event is just right for our young performers and we are so excited at the prospect of showing off our talents.”

To support Fanfare for Spring call Mr Bettle on 01425 489350 or email gill@bettles.net.