This was FFs’ penultimate event and the sun shone throughout. Visitors, especially the young, were enthralled by the variety of wonderful entertainment on offer. Phase 5 Steel Band started the event. The Folkestone Town Mayor Cllr. Martin Salmon welcomed everyone. He and the Mayoress proceeded to Tom Kellett’s Circus Day Workshop and learned to tackle the diablo with some dexterity and then they enjoyed the Metamorphosis Belly Dancers, some sustenance and a ride in the Land Train.

A new mildly humorous and charming walkabout performance from OCTO-POT a larger than life seafood surprise – a giant and grumpy octopus puppet emerging from the smoking cooking pot – and led by a quirky chef and his red and white checked serving trolley. Cllr. Jan Holben the Chairman of Shepway District Council was squirted by the octopus and then joined the steel band, performing a masterpiece with great skill and talent. She was welcomed as part of the team, making it Phase 5.5 steel band! She in turn thanked everyone for coming and the performers for their lovely music and being such good sports.

The newly opened Cliffe Bar and Restaurant very kindly allowed the dancers to change in their refurbished premises. The Fancy Dress Competition was held too late in the day so numbers were disappointing and was judged by the Princesses, Folkestone Festivals volunteers and Cllrs. Frank McKenna and Mary Laws.

The Hawkinge Flyers laid on an outstanding performance once again and Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Peppa Pig, Woody, Doc Mcstuffin and Minion made regular appearances to the great surprise of the young and not so young. Throughout the days the Land Train ran from Bouverie Place Shopping Centre to the Bandstand, and the bouncy castle and children’s amusements were much in use and the Punch & Judy Show and Story-Telling very popular. Thanks to Scoff & Sip Ice Cream, Khay’s Kitchen and the lively ladies of Streetz2Streetz visitors were provided with excellent food, ice cream and drinks on this very hot day.

On Sunday armed with a picnic huge crowds came to watch the amazing Giant Balloon Show and waited for the feverous balloon sculptures, high energy comic performance and the all-important giant balloon! They listened to the brilliant Animated Story Time and Sing a Long with the Princesses, then to the Northern Men Pipe Band from Northern France, to Kent Young Singer Emily Hodges, to Trundlehonk the one man bandstand and the UK Paper Band with their programme of music including RAF March Past, Any Dream Will Do, Snow White, Cruella de Vil, Liberty Bell, Beauty and the Beast, Can’t Help Falling in Love, The Lion King, Nine to Five, James Bond Theme, Standard of St, George and the National Anthem.

The Prince, Geordie and the Dragon puppets story-telling were much enjoyed especially the hidden treasure from Smoulder the Dragon. Elsa, Anna and Belle judged the fancy dress competition and Marshall of Paws Patrol kept a beady eye on proceedings with Minnie and Mickey. The Fancy Dress Competition was held earlier and the numbers present made it all worth-while.

Quite simply it was a brilliantly bonkers and amazing weekend with the ADP Tour container also on site for all to see the artistic creation by Jimmy Cauty. Filled with fun and dancing demonstrations it was an event for all the family, with plenty to see and do. On both days, people sat and lazed on the grass, or relaxed in a camping chairs or deckchairs, while tucking into their picnic. Being out of the town, the Festival can now really be enjoyed because there is more room and space.

A huge thank you Emma of Party Mascots Folkestone in Guildhall Street for providing all the characters. The Land Train sponsored by the Folkestone, Hythe & District Hotel & Catering Association and Wilmoths was a huge success once again over the two days.