Festive Road have been counting the success of last month’s free Festival of Giants, in Campbell Park.
Despite a somewhat windy weekend, more than four and a half thousand visitors, including the Mayor and Mayoress of Milton Keynes, attended the event, and enjoyed displays of giant puppetry, dancing and music.
On arrival, visitors received maps detailing the four main puppetry zones, of ‘The Garden,’ ‘The Aviary’, ‘The Land of Myths’, and ‘The Creatures’.
People of all ages explored these zones in wonder, marvelling at the creativity and impressive feats of giant engineering, including Harminder the cycle-powered elephant who was offering rides. Shanti, the beautiful Garuda bird of peace, the latest addition to Festive Road’s growing menagerie, was particularly popular with visitors.
Fourteen local schools and community groups took part, many getting involved in the puppetry fun. Children from Stantonbury Brownies, plus pupils from Stantonbury Campus and Long Meadow School helped to create displays in advance, as well as perambulate mechanical creatures on the day.
Pupils from Giles Brook Primary School took great pride in recreating their school emblem, the damsel fly, on a ‘Giant’ scale, at a workshop led by Festive Road artists ahead of the event; the children then paraded it around Campbell Park’s plateau on the day, with massive smiles on their faces.
Milton Keynes based Collar & Cuffs Co also performed their show Little Meerkat’s Big Panic, which helps very young children learn to understand and manage anxiety.
As well as admiring the work and talent of more than 40 professional artists and performers, visitors were encouraged to actively get involved and exercise their creativity through workshops.