Almost 800 people flocked to Watford Council’s Roald Dahl celebrations on Saturday 12 March.
Part of the town’s first ever literary festival, Big Word Fest, the event was completely free. It began with arts and crafts at Watford Museum and finished at Watford Central Library, where children and families took part in making a huge sculpture of the BFG.
Fourteen of Dahl’s best-loved characters - including Willy Wonka, the Oompa Loompas, the witches, the twits and the BFG - led a spectacularly silly parade through the town centre.
The troupe snaked its way down the High Street, through the intu centre and up The Parade to the library, with at least 300 more joining in the fun along the way.
Elected Mayor of Watford Dorothy Thornhill said: “Roald Dahl is probably the greatest children’s author of all time but his stories are adored by people of all ages. In celebrating an author who devoted most of his life to making children happy, it is only right that the whole event was free. Everyone should have the chance to join in the magic of Dahl.”
Councillor Peter Taylor, who attended the event with his children, added: "My whole family really enjoyed the parade. They were fascinated by the characters and are now very keen to read more Roald Dahl stories. I also heard a child tell our giant peach that he was the second book he’d read. This sums up the aim of Big Word Fest – to bring stories to life and get everyone reading.”
Big Word Fest is running until 23 April, with dozens of events planned for adults and children. See the full programme.