Fire dancers light up Horncastle at start of So Festival

A spectacular scene from the fire dancing routine at the launch of the So Festival in Horncastle
A spectacular scene from the fire dancing routine at the launch of the So Festival in Horncastle

Festival fever came to Horncastle at the weekend as the crowd turned out in force for two major events.

The town was again chosen to launch the glittering district-wide So Festival on Saturday night and the event proved to be a major success.

People of all ages packed into the Market Place and other venues to watch a host of street entertainers and musicians perform.

The highlight of the evening proved to be a spectacular display by fire dancers who set the Market Place ablaze.

Resident Steve Johnson said: “It was brilliant. The fire dancers were tremendous - well worth seeing.

“My kids loved the singing and dancing - and the stilt walkers.

“It’s a shame there wasn’t more music and there wasn’t a light show this year but you can’t have everything. I thought it was good for the town.”

It’s thought around 2,000 people attended the evening and police described at as a major success with no problems reported.

The crowds included MP Victoria Atkins and East Lindsey District Council leader Craig Leyland who both described the event as ‘fantastic.’

So Festival director Lorna Fulton said she was delighted with the turn out and promised the Festival would return to Horncastle next year.

Resident Sarah Thompson added: “My kids really enjoyed it. There wasn’t much happening at the start but the sun shone and it was great to see so many people in Horncastle.

“Most of the acts were really good and the fire dancing was ace. The place was buzzing.”

On Sunday, the town staged its annual Summer Festival but unfortunately the wet weather again kept crowds away.

The number of stall holders was also down on previous years but visitors like Emma Butcher tried to put a brave smile on things.

She said: “It’s difficult when the weather is not nice but we wanted to try and support events like this.

“It’s a shame there aren’t more people here but I can understand why.”

Sandra Campbell-Wardman, vice chairman of the town’s Festivals Committee, admitted the weather was a setback and said it was perhaps time to look at revamping the event.

She said: “It was a wash out last year and when I woke up and saw it was raining again, I just thought...’oh no’”

“The one thing we can’t control is the weather. It takes a lot of time, money and effort to put on something like this and perhaps it is time to look at it again.”

Crowds did pick up during the day but some stall holders said they would struggle to re-coup the cost of their pitches.

Ironically, the clouds lifted and blues skies appeared as many holders were packing up to go home just before 4pm.