Leeds Kirkstall Festival funseekers are abbey and they know it

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Fun-seekers were abbey and they knew it - as thousands enjoyed a baking day in the sunshine at the 35th Kirkstall Festival.

Visitors flocked to the annual community gala, held amongst the ancient ruins of Kirkstall Abbey.

Bruce Airhead entertains the crowds in the Cloisters at Kirkstall Abbey at the 35th annual  Kirkstall Festival.  Pictures by Tony Johnson

Bruce Airhead entertains the crowds in the Cloisters at Kirkstall Abbey at the 35th annual Kirkstall Festival. Pictures by Tony Johnson

From a parade of bagpipes to the searing melodies of Hope and Social, the massive crowds had a feast of music to enjoy. The ever popular dog show proved a hit with children and large queues formed for the fairground rides and the food vendors, with the local Kirkstall Brewery’s beers proving very popular.

Among the visitors was Heidi May, of Meanwood, who has been for the past three years. She said: “This festival is getting more like a big time music festival. Every year the crowds get bigger, there’s not a lot of room to move around.”

Also among the revellers was Tony Chew, of Kirkstall, who told the YEP: “It’s a brilliant area with really passionate creative people. The more people coming to Kirkstall the better so far as I am concerned. It’s a fantasic place.”

Visitors also took to the festival’s Facebook page both during and after the event.

The Dancers Bizarre entertain the crowds

The Dancers Bizarre entertain the crowds

Peter Wilson said: “Me and the family, including our new daughter, had a great time. Enjoyed the music, won a couple of things on the tombolas, got complimented on my grouping in the archery - dead chuffed as I love it and don’t get to do it often. Even won a coconut for my first ever win at a coconut shy.”

Leeds Folk Fiddle Group, who were among the performers, said: “It was lovely to see so many of you in the audience, hope you enjoyed yourselves as much as we did!”

And Lucinda Yeadon, deputy leader of Leeds City Council, who is also a ward councillor for the area, said: “A fabulous day at Kirkstall Festival - selling programmes, selling jam, dancing to Hope and Social, limboing and spending time with some wonderful people. My favourite day of the year.”

Entertainer Pete White with the Leeds Hoopstars at the 35th annual  Kirkstall Festival

Entertainer Pete White with the Leeds Hoopstars at the 35th annual Kirkstall Festival

Children watch the entertainment at the 35th annual  Kirkstall Festival in the grounds of Kirkstall Abbey.

Children watch the entertainment at the 35th annual Kirkstall Festival in the grounds of Kirkstall Abbey.

Ethan Howe spins plates with the help of entertainer Pete White

Ethan Howe spins plates with the help of entertainer Pete White

Leeds Pipe Band lead the parade  to the 35th annual  Kirkstall Festival

Leeds Pipe Band lead the parade to the 35th annual Kirkstall Festival

The parade makes its way to the 35th annual  Kirkstall Festival in the grounds of Kirkstall Abbey.

The parade makes its way to the 35th annual Kirkstall Festival in the grounds of Kirkstall Abbey.

Ominous sky in Leeds
Leeds Bridge
River Aire

Photograph taken by Gary Hope
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