A TEN-day celebration of literature, expected to attract thousands of people of all ages to Bradford, begins tomorrow.

The Bradford Literature Festival involves more than 200 events held at venues across the city, with appearances by some of the top authors and writers.

A gigantic inflatable structure was installed in Centenary Square in preparation for the event yesterday, and over the course of the festival it will act as the hub for the event, which runs from tomorrow until Sunday, May 29.

In that time City Park will also be home to a pirate ship, anchored in the mirror pool, and a "knowledge emporium" where visitors will be asked to impart a piece of wisdom in return for sweets and treats.

Activities on the first day include an all-female comedy night, which has sold out, a discussion on feminism and a night of Bollywood Jazz at Bradford College.

And there will be appearances by the Poet Laureate, Dame Carol Ann Duffy, Great British Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain and World War II veteran Harry Leslie Smith.

This weekend's events include two family fun days, themed around superheroes on Saturday and fairy tales on Sunday, storytelling sessions in The Broadway Shopping Centre and a discussion of Irish poetry.

Many of the events are sold out, with many others likely to sell out in the next few days, and organisers say there has been a hugely enthusiastic response to the varied programme.

Over the course of the festival more than 350 guests, including authors, artists and filmmakers, will take part in the different events, spread out over 20 venues including the National Media Museum, the city's iconicWaterstones bookstore and City Library.

There will also be scores of events in the district's schools.

The first full-length Bradford Literature Festival was held last May, organised by Syima Aslam and Irna Qureshi. After its success, plans were put in place for a much larger festival to become part of Bradford's annual calendar.

Earlier this year, the Arts Council awarded £495,000 to the festival from its Ambition for Excellence Scheme, which has allowed it to expand.

Bradford-based Provident Financial Group is the partner for this year's festival.

Mrs Aslam said: "We're extremely excited about this year's event, it has been building up since last year's festival.

"There are so many amazing events, it is going to be a fantastic festival. It is going to put the city on the map.

"There are also a lot of great children's events. We want it so that everyone who comes into the city can enjoy an activity.

"Tickets are selling really, really well, a lot of the workshops are sold out. And there are lots of other events that are only a few tickets away from selling out.

"The Carol Anne Duffy event and the Nadia Hussain event have proved to be really popular."

This Saturday the first of the festival's family events will kick off with a Superhero Day in City Park, that will include interactive performances by Shipley-based Q20 Theatre, workshops to help young people to learn how be a superhero and make their own costumes, as well as a screening of Pixar modern classic The Incredibles.

On Sunday the events in the park will be based around the theme of fairy tales. There will be a screening of Disney's Peter Pan on the Big Screen and a live show based on the tale in the park, where the spectators will be asked to act as the Lost Boys.

There will also be a climate change themed art installation in the Broadway Shopping Centre.

Author and former police officer Les Vasey will show visitors around Bradford Police Museum on Sunday, telling them the tale of Chains Charlie, the resident ghost of City Hall.

The hall will also host a discussion on Sunday on how many of literature's most popular characters from Batman to David Copperfield, are orphans or adopted.

Storyteller Richard O'Neill will tell Roma stories while crafting wooden puppets in Waterstones on Sunday, and the University of Bradford hosts a Manga workshop on Saturday.

The family event on Saturday, May 28, will be based around beloved author and illustrator Beatrix Potter and feature performances and workshops, and Harry Potter fans are invited to celebrate the boy wizard's adventures on Sunday, May 29, for an event with live show's, workshops and a screening of the first Potter film.

Some of the more quirky events planned for the festival include a performance of "Mildly Erotic Poetry" in Waterstones on Thursday and a performance of Shakespeare comedy A Midsummer Night's Dream on the grounds of Bradford Cathedral on Saturday May 28.

There will also be several events marking the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charlotte Bronte, in Thornton.

Programmes are available from the district's Tourist Information Centres, and for more information and to buy tickets, visit bradfordliteraturefestival.co.uk