BOLLYWOOD dancers, New Orleans bands and Latino music will bring an international flavour to Shipley town centre as it stages its first-ever free street arts festival.

The three-day Shipley Street Arts Festival, held from tomorrow to Saturday, sees the town taken over by a vast array of national, international and homegrown acts including acrobatics, comedy, cabaret, dance and street theatre.

The live entertainment will run in Shipley town centre on each day between 11am and 3.30pm after festival organisers were handed a £30,000 grant split between Bradford Council's Visitor Fund and Arts Council England.

The event will kick off on Thursday with a school's parade through Shipley town centre from 1.30pm, with an animal magic theme as pupils from a host of schools show off their sculpture creations in willow and tissue.

The American South comes to Shipley on Friday with the Phoenix New Orleans Band in action.

Other highlights include Oriental Arts (Bradford) Ltd presenting the sights and sounds of Bollywood. Cascade Duo take to the air on Saturday for a trapeze performance.

Closer to home, Shipley-based Hall Royd Band perform brass band music on Saturday.

Tony Lidington's quirky Uncle Tacko's Imaginariumbooth will be open throughout each of the three days of the festival.

More than 20,000 leaflets advertising the event have been produced and circulated throughout West Yorkshire, including Leeds and Halifax.

The festival is the brainchild of John Lambert, Q20 Theatre's creative director, who says he has been overwhelmed by the support he has received from town residents.

He said: "It's going to be really good. It's going to be an amazing atmosphere.

"I thought this was going to be a one-off, but we would love to do it annually now.

"I think it's going to be a tremendous boost for Shipley.

"I thought it might be an uphill task for a first event but much credit to the people of Shipley. The support that we've had from people has been tremendous.

"There is an amazing range of things, hopefully something to please everyone. We have national and internationally renowned acts. "The local talent is of a really good quality. "

Meanwhile, the festival's fringe events include cabaret heaven at Baildon Woodbottom Working Men's Club, Otley Road, Shipley on Friday night., from 8.30pm The show features magic, stand-up comedy and DJs. Tickets are priced £8 in advance and £10 on the door.

Creative residents can craft a model at a free workshop held in Kirkgate on Friday and Saturday, each day between 12.30pm and 2.30pm.

The free Shipley Alternative will be held at the Kirkgate Centre on Saturday, from 11am to 3pm. The market will feature a variety of stalls selling handmade goods.