RAIN failed to dampen spirits as Pershore’s ever-popular plum festival got underway on Saturday.

Crowds packed into the town on August 2 for the official launch of the yearly month-long event celebrating the humble plum with a range of colourful and tuneful events.

The town was decked out with 200 purple balloons as the Abbey Bells rang out for three hours and Plum Princess Analeise Cooper, aged nine, from Drakes Broughton and her attendants Ella Townsend and Lilly Adams, both nine-years-old and from Pershore, welcomed all to Chapman Court – renamed Plum Alley for the festival’s duration.

Festival organiser Angela Tidmarsh said – despite the rain – the festival was off to a roaring start.

“We had a really good day,” she said.

“The weather wasn’t that kind to us but it didn’t stop everyone enjoying themselves.

“The plums are a little bit early this year so we had a really good range of produce on offer.”

Mrs Tidmarsh said she was delighted by how much people living in the town had got into the spirit of the festival, with many of them decking out windows of their homes in purple.

“That’s really great become in previous years people haven’t done that until the end of the month,” she said.

“People walk along the street and see them and think ‘Oh, the Plum Festival’s on’.”

The month of events will include Plum Tours exploring the varieties of the fruit grown in the area, to weekly fairs in Plum Alley, a dog show on Saturday, August 24 and a motorcycle meet on Wednesday, August 20.

A classic car and bike show will also be held at Abbey Park on Monday, August 25, with some spaces still available for owners to show off their vehicles. For more information call 07809 569 101 or email briansclassics@yahoo.co.uk.

For more information on what the festival has to offer visit www.pershoreplumfestival.org.uk