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Music, art and crafts come together for the ArtiGras festival in Ashford's town centre and lower High Street

By Tim Collins

A riot of colour and sounds took over the town for two days as part of the first ever ArtiGras festival.

Live music and art installations filled Ashford town centre over the two days of the festival on Friday and Saturday.

Crowds gathered in the summery sunshine on both days to hear bands playing near the fountain in the lower High Street, with hay bales set up as makeshift seating.

Samba drummers parade through the lower High Street

The turnout was particularly strong for the procession of a brightly coloured band of drummers who marched from the top of the High Street to the bottom, at around 10.30am on Saturday.

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Many of those gathered stayed on to enjoy more music throughout the afternoon, and to take advantage of the street vendors who had set up stalls selling a whole host of items, ranging from hand crafted handbags to tasty cupcakes.

Organiser Betsy Aidinyantz dancing ahead of the parade

The festival was organised by the Centre for Creativity and Enterprise, based in the lower High Street and spearheaded by Betsy Aidinyantz.

She said: “It was beyond anyone's wildest dreams.

"The drummers by far got the most comments from people, everyone said how amazing they were. But the question we got asked the most was 'can we do this every week'.

"Unfortunately that's just not possible, but it does show that people want to help make it happen, and not just to see it happen."

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