CULTURE came to town on Saturday as Ringwood played host to the second International Festival of Street Performance Art.

Poets and thespians hailed visitors at every corner, folk bands fiddled on the narrow streets and rock‘n’rollers and hand-jivers danced the day away.

Thousands of people poured into Ringwood for the day-long festival, the brainchild of gallery owner and artist Roger Bettle, which saw 550 performers in the town.

Bands, choirs, performances from the Big Little Theatre, Spank the Planks Appalachian Clog Dance team and acrobatic dance group Joli Vyann1 took to the streets.

Organiser Roger Bettle said: “The day was sensational. This was not done by one person. I have a great team who put their time and hearts and souls into creating this day. It is good for the town and we love doing it.

“The weather was perfect for audience and the performers. The town was heaving.

“I originally wanted to hold the event bi-annually, to alternate with the pedal car race, but I have stuck my head above the parapet and have said I will be holding it again next year and from then on, it will be run on a two-year cycle.”

Mr Bettle added: “I always think of Danny Cracknell. He and I used to talk about organising things for the town and then he would do it. He started the Ringwood Festival. Sadly, he is no longer with us and so I am doing it now.”

The proceeds collected on the day will go to Ringwood First Responders, the 3rd Ringwood Scouts, Ringwood Girl Guides and the Ringwood Young Firefighters.