HUNDREDS of people visited Dursley at the weekend to enjoy a host of Brazilian themed-activities, stalls, games and entertainment as the town held its annual festival.

Kicking off proceedings at 11am was a samba band leading a procession through the town's high street and included local groups such as Dursley Brownies and Guides and Cam Hopton Primary School.

After the parade visitors enjoyed live music, entertainment and a host of stalls selling gifts, crafts and food which ran until 3pm.

In a bid to encourage more trade in the town, Dursley Festival was relocated from the War Memorial Recreation Ground where it was based last year to Parsonage Street.

The effect was substantial as hundreds of people turned out and several stores reported a surge in business.

Festival committee member Claire Farragher was thrilled with the turnout, saying she had never seen Dursley so busy.

“The weather was perfect, there was a really good atmosphere, good entertainment and there were lots of excellent stalls. We’re really happy with how it turned out,” she said.

“It was really packed by 11am. We’re just very happy it went so well and we feel our efforts have been rewarded because people enjoyed it and we have been given great feedback.”

Even though the festival may have finished by the afternoon, the festivities did not as community group World Jungle held a Brazilian-themed party at the Chantry Centre on Long Street.

The event included a live performance from samba drumming and dance group Jamma de Samba as well as a demonstration of Capoeira, a Brazilian marshal art, and a disco in the centre’s secret garden at the rear of the building.

Event organiser and World Jungle director, Ben Ward, said over 150 people turned up to the evening’s entertainment and thought the whole day had been a great success.

“The festival was brilliant, there were lots of people, the weather was great and the procession went really well,” he said.

“We have heard from several people and traders that were really happy it started in the town this year.”

One such trader was Lee Buffrey who has owned newsagents Hewitts for over 15 years.

He told the Gazette he was keen to see Dursley Festival return to the high street next year.

“We definitely saw more customers during the festival, it was really good,” he said.

“I think it is the best place because it keeps everyone in the town and obviously benefits the town, benefits us and benefits the stall holders all day.”