THOUSANDS of people flooded Downley as residents celebrated the start of the first-ever village festival.

A family disco on the Common on Friday night kicked off three weeks of activities in the village for the inaugural Up! Festival.

The traditional Downley Day took place the following day, with more than 2,000 people attending to see a dog show and performances from dancers. and to take part in a number of fun traditional activities.

Organisers have arranged for a number of professional acts to come to the village as part of the festival - before getting residents to suggest ideas for what else they'd like to see.

A circus school, beer and cheese festival and a Downley's Got Talent contest are among the attractions, alongside a comedy show from Edinburgh Fringe participants Jonny and the Baptists and Bec and Tom, an acoustic set from the Moonrakers and a magic show that fooled Penn and Teller from Morgan and West.

Organiser Pat Wheedon said: "Downley doesn't look much like a village any more but it has a real village mentality. The locals have all got on board, which is really pleasing and really rewarding.

"If the weather stays like this it should be three good, fun weeks."

Scarecrows have been put up around the village as part of a competition and Mr Wheedon said: "Some of them are really very clever. Everyone's got on board with it."

For a full programme of events go to