Organisers pulled a few strings to ensure Skipton’s fourth international puppet festival was a huge success.

People travelled from Taiwan, Switzerland, Croatia, and Denmark to enjoy a feast of puppetry in Craven at the weekend.

The festival has grown since it was first held and this year there were record ticket sales for shows. Hundreds also flocked to the numerous free events.

New for 2011 was a parade of giant puppets which wound its way through the centre of Skipton. A flock of super-sized sheep and a sheepdog was produced for the parade and the puppets will be available for use in future town events. Organiser Liz Lempen said the parade proved to be a real highlight.

“I don’t think Skipton has ever experienced anything quite like it,” she said. “The feeling when the sound of the band came round the corner, followed by so many puppets, was wonderful.”

The giant sheep were joined by a huge Punch and Judy, a stilt-walker, band and people waving flags and banners in a wave of colour and sound.

More than 70 performances were held at eight venues during the three-day festival and Liz said: “We don’t have the final figures yet, but just about all the shows sold out and because we had an increased capacity this year we expect to have sold close to 3,000 tickets.

“The atmosphere was brilliant – the audiences were so friendly, and thirsty for the shows.”

Liz thanked audiences for their support and praised sponsors, including the Narrowboat pub, which provided food and drink, Teacherboards, which gave signs and other support, the town and district councils, Herriots and Rendezvous Hotels, and Skipton BID. The festival, believed to be the biggest of its kind in the country.

Liz said: “We need help and support in organising the festival. The team is very small for an event of this size and we hope to get get more people involved in the organising.”

If you can help, email