A VIBRANT street party will see Banbury come alive with colour, music and an array food as part of the Summer Fiesta.

The streets and lanes of the Old Town will play host to dancing, a fancy dress competition and street entertainers as part of the annual festival.

Barry Whitehouse, who is a member of the Old Town Association, said the Old Town Summer Fiesta and Street Organ Festival was set to transport visitors to the Mardi Gras carnival.

He said: “Everything is still being finalised but we’re expecting there to be a proper carnival atmosphere, with stilt walkers and amazing music.”

Mr Whitehouse, 38, said organisers were expecting thousands of food fanatics to descend on the town on September 2.

He said: “We’re expecting about 3,000 people to attend the festival and we have had up to 4,000 people before, which is quite something.

“Of course, it is weather dependent, but it is one of the most popular events in Banbury and we’re hoping that lots of people come along.”

Colin Clarke, Mayor of Banbury, said he hoped the festival would re-introduce residents to a quieter part of the area.

He said: “Many people will not remember the days when Parson’s Street, High Street, Market Place and Church Lane were the town’s main shopping areas.

“Castle Quay and out-of-town retail parks have changed the way people shop, but the Old Town Fiesta will be a trip back in time for older residents and an eye-opener for those who normally do not explore the ‘forgotten’ streets."

The streets will soon be pounding to the beat of steel drums and a jazz band, while visitors will be able to turn their hand to balloon modelling, mask making and headdress workshops.

Businesses in Parson’s Street, Church Lane, Church Walk and White Lion Walk will host the fiesta with street organists from across the country providing the soundtrack for the day.

Cash will be collected for the mayor’s fund and the money will be divided between charities in Banbury at the end of the mayoral year.

It will run from 9.30am to 3.30pm.