Coming of spring celebrated in style at West Yorkshire town’s fire festival

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The coming of spring was celebrated when a dramatic fire festival drew thousands of spectators to a West Yorkshire town.

Around 3,500 people attended Marsden’s Imbolc Fire Festival, which is inspired by ancient celtic traditions, on Saturday.

A lantern procession and theatre performances were held, along with live music and fire entertainment at the biennial event, which has been running in the town, near Huddersfield, since the 1990s.

Giant characters took centre stage for a re-enactment of the mythical battle between the Green Man and Jack Frost at Imbolc, which is named after an ancient celtic festival held to usher in the spring.

Spectators watched a lantern procession, led by drummers and druids in costume, walk to Standedge Visitor Centre, Tunnel End, where the main event was held, culminating in a spectacular fireworks display.

Organiser Angie Boycott-Garnett said: “It was quite a big turnout, despite the weather.

“When we started 25 years ago we wanted something that would cheer people up at this dull time of year after Christmas.

“There is a fantastic atmosphere and it is very joyful.”