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REVELLERS and shoppers alike celebrated the last weekend of the summer holidays with a huge street party in central Banbury.

The old town area came alive with sounds and colour as street performers, steel drum bands and dancers entertained the crowds for the summer fiesta and street organ festival.

Shops, pubs and restaurants in Parson’s Street, Church Lane, Church Walk, White Lion Walk and Market Place hosted the event as part of a bid to get more people using the amenities in the area.

Organisers hoped to highlight the smaller, individual traders in the old streets who offer 'a more personal service.'

The mayor of Banbury Colin Clarke said that it had reminded him of how busy the town centre used to be.

Mr Clarke commented: “I remember when Parson’s Street, High Street, Market Place and Church Lane were the town’s main shopping areas. That was before supermarkets, shopping centres and out-of-town retail parks.

“I hope some of the people who perhaps ‘discovered’ the old town at the fiesta will continue to use the shops, pubs and restaurants on a regular basis."

The town's historic streets and lanes were teeming with people enjoying face painting, balloon modelling, mask-making and children’s workshops.

The free event also saw giveaways, a fancy dress competition and a variety of stalls selling food and drink.

Street organists travelled from around the country to perform and help to collect money for the mayor’s fund which will be divided between charities in Banbury at the end of the mayoral year.

Mr Clarke said: “I’d like to thank the street organists who came from far and wide to raise money for local charities.

"They, too, are a reminder of years gone by.”

The event was organised by Banbury Town Council and the Old Town Association, a group of independent traders who work together to promote local shops.

It was sponsored by Cherwell District Council, Castle Quay and Your Letterbox magazine.