PICTURE GALLERY: Crowds enjoy a cultural feast at Chapelfield Gardens in Norwich

From a canine brass band to the antics of prehistoric beasts to a Make Do and Mend show full of memories and dancing - a sumptuous feast of entertainment was enjoyed by people of all ages at the free finale of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival.

From a canine brass band to the antics of prehistoric beasts to a Make Do and Mend show full of memories and dancing - a sumptuous feast of entertainment was enjoyed by people of all ages at the free finale of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival.

Crowds of people flocked to Chapelfield Gardens in Norwich on Saturday to enjoy the sunshine, share picnics, and join in with the Festival Feast fun.

They were treated to an array of street theatre and entertainment including the Hounds of the Buskerville brass band, Rimski's Bicycle Piano, the Insect Circus Museum and a final appearance from the prehistoric festival favourites from the Dinosaur Petting Zoo.

The feast was one of the last events of this year's 16-day Norfolk and Norwich Festival which finished on Saturday.

The festival's artistic director William Galinsky said there was a great crowd and it was brilliant to see people of all ages enjoying the Festival Feast together.

He said: 'With the Festival Feast we just wanted to end the festival with a sense of family and community. It was about people being together, seeing entertainment, having a lovely time, and enjoying the sunshine.'

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He said he was really pleased with the success of the 2012 festival.

When asked about his festival highlights, he said: 'I have got so many favourites! The Dinosaur Petting Zoo I really loved. I loved Rian, I loved 100pc Norfolk, the Aurora Orchestra, and Compagnie XY in Great Yarmouth. The Spiegeltent has been great too and also these family days. There are just so many.'

He added: 'We have had a lot of extraordinary work responding to a sense of place like AirHotel at Holt Hall and Motor Show at St James Place Development Site, a show with Bow Down in Felthorpe woods, and of course The Voice Project.

'It has been great to see packed houses at St Andrew's Hall - we have had five orchestra concerts this year.

'We have had some great shows at the Theatre Royal like Rian and AfroCubism, and it has been lovely to see so many families enjoying the free events too.'

He said the festival seems to be growing year on year.

'We definitely have bigger audiences for both our free and ticketed events. I think people are more aware of the festival,' he said.

'There is a great audience here, it is a really adventurous audience. People do not just want to see the old favourites but they are also really interested in finding out about new things too.'

When asked if he had any early thoughts on next year's festival, he said: 'Lots - but none I can share at the moment!'

Among the people enjoying the Festival Feast on Saturday were Abby and Tim Page, 37 and 41, and their children Chloe, 10 and Anya, eight.

Abby said the family, who live in the city centre, had enjoyed many of the free festival events, and as well as the Festival Feast they had also watched the opening event, Invasion, which saw prehistoric beasts roam the city streets, and went to the opening weekend Garden Party.

Abby said: 'The fact that there were so many free events to enjoy is brilliant. It is an asset to the city. It is an exciting place to be.'

Chloe and Anya really liked the dinosaurs from Dinosaur Petting Zoo, while Tim said The Voice Project on the opening weekend, which saw a group of singers take people on a musical mystery tour, was also amazing.

He added: 'There have been so many quirky, unusual and interesting things to see.'

Christine Way, 60, and from the St Benedicts Street area of Norwich, was at the feast with her friend Diane Parkin, 53 and from Eaton.

Christine said: 'The Festival Feast was lovely. There was a nice performance from Ragroof Theatre and it was nice to see lots of people out in the park.

'The festival has just sort of grown and there is such a variety and a lot of opportunity.'

Other the two weeks she said she had enjoyed the tea dances and The Vagaband at the Spiegeltent, and Aurora Orchestra.

She added: 'Singing the City (The Voice Project) at dawn it was absolutely magical with the choir being around the cathedral. It felt like everything was waking up. During the day the singing was fun and full of surprises, and the evening was just as spectacular but completely different.'

Daphne Tinsley, 82 and from the Trafford Road area of Norwich, had gone to the Festival Feast to see Ragroof Theatre's Make Do And Mend Show which wove people's memories of the 1940s into a show filled with dancing, and which asked people to bring along buttons with memories attached to them for the theatre company's 'button museum.'

Daphne described the show as 'wonderful' and donated some buttons made by disabled servicemen and which she had bought in 1947 from a shop opposite Harrods in London that was opened by the Queen Mother.

Faye White, 35 and from Costessey, and her children Charlie, 13, Hannah, nine, and Bethany, seven, had a great time watching The Birthday Party Show, enjoying tucking into their picnic, making dinosaur puppets, and seeing the creatures from the Dinosaur Petting Zoo.

Faye said: 'It was absolutely brilliant. We had a lovely time.'

• For more pictures and festival stories visit www.eveningnews24.co.uk

• Are you involved in a new arts project? Email reporter Emma Knights at email emma.knights@archant.co.uk

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