THE Flow Festival celebrating the restoration of Stourport’s canal basins attracted between 8,000 and 10,000 people over the weekend and has been hailed as a “huge” success.

The festival marked the completion of a three-and-a-half year, £3.5 million award winning regeneration project aiming to restore the basins to their former glory.

It started with a colourful procession on Friday evening from the Sports Centre, while activities throughout the weekend included street entertainers, scavenger and treasure hunts, arts, crafts and face painting.

The highlight of the festival was The Devil’s Tale, a visual extravaganza organised by Spanish performance company, Spiral, which involved Stourport community groups and schools.

Susannah Ronan, British Waterways arts and project co-ordinator for the basins project, said: “The festival was excellent. It was a huge success that completely exceeded our expectations.

“There was quite a buzz around the basins and everyone had a good time.

“Part of the very reason for the festival was to bring people back to the basins and show how they have been brought back to life.”

She explained that more than 700 tickets were sold for the Devil’s Tale for the Saturday and Sunday performances.

She added that the procession on Friday was “magical” and a “fantastic introduction” to the festival, with more than 150 people taking part.

Resident, Malcolm Dawson, 57, a security officer, of Severn Side, said: ”It has been great to see the basins used again. It is about time people got a full use out of them again.”

He added: “The festival has really brought people together. It has been absolutely brilliant and people from Stourport have been involved at every point.”

Conservative Stourport town councillor, David Little, added: “It has been a great success. This is a very good start towards bringing people back to the basins.”

Ian Duriez, 65, of Stourport, off Hartlebury Road, brought his grandson, Duncan, 10, to The Devil’s Tale. Duncan said: “I really enjoyed it. It was very bright and colourful and I loved the music.”

Carolina Ruiz Marcos, producer of The Devil’s Tale, explained that 70 per cent of the cast were local people, while four of the main characters were also from Stourport.

She said: “We have met the most wonderful people here. They have been so talented and committed. It has been a great experience.”

Click here for our picture gallery from the event.