St Mary's CE VA Primary School, Thornbury, was the vibrant setting for an extraordinary Creative Arts Festival on Saturday, February 24, which welcomed over 300 guests from the local community.

The festival was officially opened by James Murray, the Mayor of Thornbury, setting the tone for a day filled with music, art, and community spirit. Guests were greeted by the enchanting sounds of the Panache Steel Band.

Highlights of the day included the presentation of gifts to the art competition winners, Ella, Sai, and Luna, by the esteemed artist Rich Edwards.

The event was honoured by the presence of Cllr Chris Davies from South Gloucestershire Council and representatives from The Round Table, both of whom provided generous grants that were instrumental in bringing the festival to life.

Children and families had the opportunity to engage in a variety of workshops and activities. From Matilda Masterclasses and Street Dance workshops provided by BALPA to musical explorations with redMusic and Panache, there was something for everyone. Sweet & Sassy cakes offered biscuit decorating sessions, while the art trail, performances by Thornbury Musical Theatre Group, Adam Allsorts, Phoenix Youth Theatre, and MC Combat captivated attendees.

Thornbury Library delighted pre-schoolers with rhyme and story times, and internationally published author Helen Docherty enchanted with her story sessions and book signings. Illustrator Seb Braun and local artist Nick Thain shared their skills with aspiring young artists, contributing to a day full of learning and creativity.

One of the day's highlights was a community art project led by Rich Edwards, where attendees collectively contributed to a colourful depiction of Thornbury buildings, showcasing the unity and artistic flair of the community.

Event organiser Olivia Riddiford reflected on the day's success, stating, "The energy and positive buzz that rippled through our school on Saturday was just electric. We set out to celebrate our local arts scene and we absolutely did that!"