THOUSANDS flocked to a town centre at the weekend for an event to celebrate art and culture while remembering to take care of the environment.

There was something for everyone at Bicester Festival which started on Friday where people sat in Garth Park, which was transformed into an open-air cinema, to watch and sing along to The Greatest Showman.

Saturday saw families gather under the sun in Sheep Street where a parade, led by the 'Queen' and guards, weaved through the street.

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The procession was made up of a giant fox puppet, a giant bee -which had been handmade by children the day before - as well as a whale made out of plastic bottles and chicken wire by children from various schools in Bicester to highlight the plight of marine life.

The bee was operated by the pedal power of children who sat underneath it.

This year's festival theme was 'Earth – gaining ground’ and so there was an emphasis on the environment and climate change, which coincides with the town's eco-friendly ethos.

No single use plastic was handed out at stalls taking part in the artisan market on Sheep Street where stalls sold homemade clothes, jewellery and baked treats.

The Vegetarian Society displayed their giant veggies at The OYAP Trust's (formerly Oxfordshire Youth Arts Partnership) Studi02, to encourage awareness of their #‎EatToBeatClimateChange‬ campaign.

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Residents were also encouraged to show their support by walking, cycling or even scooting to the festival.

Graham Perryman, from OYAP Trust, helped to organise the event this year.

He said: "It's been fantastic and really busy which is great because one of the reasons for holding the festival is to bring people into town."

Helen Le Brocq, Director of OYAP Trust since 1998, also helped to organise the festival as well as the parade.

She said: "The whole point of the procession was to create a visual spectacle for the festival and show arts and culture in Bicester."

Bicester Festival was made up of different events on Saturday including a Then and Now Exhibition at St Edburg's Church, family arts activities in Market Square and an evening of performances at Garth Park.

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Throughout the afternoon, 'The Best of Bicester' community performance show took place in Market Square where 20 local groups and singers performed including Havana Dance Club and acoustic artist, Yasmin Saint.

Soul of Bicester Choir performed for the first time at the community show and enjoyed the experience.

Vocalist Stephanie Pirrie, who sings in the choir, said: "The singers loved it. The atmosphere was warm and encouraging and we loved seeing people join in with the songs they knew."

People could also go to to Studi02 on Cemetery Road where an art exhibition took place showcasing 41 local artists.

Sunday events included yoga sessions and workshops at The OYAP Trust.