THOUSANDS of people flocked to Skipton over the bank holiday weekend for the ever popular Waterway Festival.

With this year being the 200th anniversary of the completion of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, the event was extra special, with a host of entertainment for all the family.

The 15th annual event, always held over the early May bank holiday, was also taken over this year by Skipton Town Council, because usual organiser, Zoe Clarke, of Pennine Cruisers, was busy on maternity leave.

Pennine, organisers of the event for several years, was responsible for the boating side, as usual, with town council staff responsible for everything else.

And despite some unseasonable weather, which included torrential rain, hailstones and strong winds - all interspersed with lovely sunshine - the crowds and boaters put on brave faces and had a wonderful time.

Brett Butler, town centre manager, said: "Despite some mixed weather, the festival was really well attended and we've had some great comments and feedback."

Comments included how friendly and well organised the event was, and how people were already looking forward to next year.

The event included the usual decorated narrow boats, with this year's theme being the 200th anniversary of the canal, and the illuminated boat parade to the canal basin.

Entertainment throughout the three days varied from Morris dancing and the Accrington Pipe Band to the Skipton Ukulele Club and modern belly dancers, Four Hundred Roses, who combine traditional folk music and bellydancing.

Tribute band, Beatles for Sale, were a big hit and firm favourites for a return next year.

There was also a human fruit machine, run by Skipton Volunteer Centre, stalls and sideshows and endless refreshments to suit all tastes.

Jason Smith, of Skipton Car Show, was also there with some classic cars to promote the show on June 5.

Mr Butler added: "Our Beatles For Sale tribute band were particularly popular, along with our Northern Soul DJs, as we celebrated some of the famous locations along the Leeds-Liverpool Canal - but all the entertainment went down really well."