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Imagine Watford arts festival attracts record-breaking crowds
Imagine Watford attracted record-breaking crowds last week in what organisers have hailed its most successful year ever.
The fourth year of the popular open air arts festival in Watford town centre was enjoyed by more than 100,000 people - beating last year’s turn out by nearly 5,000.
Victoria Kearns, Watford Palace Theatre, said it was an "absolutely fantastic" fortnight of arts productions and that feedback from the festival has been "tremendous".
She said: "The amazing fortnight that was Imagine Watford 2014 has come to an end with a spectacular weekend of performances from three extraordinary international theatre companies.
"French, Company Malabar’s Le Voyage des Aquareves attracted a sea of people as a spectacular ship and its mysterious crew drifted through the streets of Watford on Friday night.
"Spain’s Producciones Imperdibles’ captured people’s imaginations with the evocative choreography of La Mirada Interior; and France’s Circ Panic captured the hearts of young and old with its fun-loving circus skills show - The Man Who Lost His Buttons."
She said audience comments had branded the 21 dance, drama and visual arts productions "unexpected, incredible, magical".
Others read: "Great for Watford! Attracts people to the Parade area. New performance areas are great."
"I enjoyed everything. The parade looks magnificent. The sunshine was not as bright as the happy sunny faces in Watford this weekend. Well done"
And: "Brings people into the area, gives young people a chance to experience the arts away from the television."
Ms Kearns said the festival has grown and grown since it first started in 2011 with audience numbers of 30,000.
People enjoying Le Voyage des Aquareves.
She said: "This year the festival engaged with over 100,000 people over the festival fortnight.
"Some 84% of people said they came to the town centre specifically to attend the festival and 98.5% of people said they would recommend the festival to their friends.
"In 2013 the festival engaged 95,760 people, and in 2012, 57,300 people."