THE SKY lit up for the launch of Keighley Arts and Film Festival last weekend at Cliffe Castle.

The historic museum formed the backdrop for attractions including a giant dragon, lanterns in the shape of fish, and drummers.

Images of Keighley and the surrounding area were projected onto buildings as around 800 people watched.

A spokesman for the festival said many people had helped out, attended workshops or created events during the weekend.

She said: “It has all gone amazingly well with lots of public attendance. Despite the exhaustion we are planning already for next year.”

The Keighley and Worth Valley Railway hosted a Time Train, with historical performances at stations along the line by costumed actors recruited from the local community.

A key venue for the festival was Keighley Creative Space, a gallery and workshop in Hanover Street, whose artists were among the organisers.

There were also performances throughout the weekend at other town centre venues including the Airedale Shopping Centre, which hosted busters, street entertainers and a successful ‘flash mob’ which involved local people dancing with umbrellas.

Why Keighley, a short movie made by young Keighley filmmakers Scott Coulthard and Shyla Lee, was specially commissioned for the festival and received its first screenings during the weekend, at the Creative Space pop-up cinema .

The spokesman said: “There was a great reception to this fab community cohesion film highlighting the stories of the different communities that made Keighley their home.”

Scott, who spoke to well-known figures like Charlie Bhowmick as part of the film, said Why Keighley was hugely well received, adding: “Both showings were full and the feedback I had was overwhelming, particularly from the participants.”

Other festival attractions included RATMA, the River Aire 10 Minute Amateur film festival, and workshops at the Musicians Centre;

Cliffe Castle Support Group said it was proud to have been involved with the “fantastic” festival, said it was looking forward to next year’s event.