DARK skies and heavy downpours didn’t stop Malpas coming alive for its second arts and literature festival.
Hundreds braved the cold to enjoy music, art, literature and dance at the three-day event.
Strictly Come Dancing star Craig Revel-Horwood was one of the festival’s headliners, and mesmerised a packed audience in conversation with actor Ian Bartholomew.
Revel-Horwood spoke about his life, background and accomplishments, and revealed he had once choreographed for leading dancers such as Darcey Bussell at the Royal Ballet.
Music-wise, blues duo Bob Hall and Dave Kelly joined together for the first time since 1979 to perform two sets, and there were several choirs filling St Oswald’s Church with song.
Children from local schools sang in the choir on the first night, followed by a performance of Nessun Dorma by the Trelawnyd Male Voice Choir on Friday.
On the final evening The Crosby Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Robert Sells, joined the Festival Choir for music and singing.
South Cheshire blues band Blozone impressed with a mix of blues, soul and pop.
Elsewhere, authors including Deborah Morgan, Kate Long, Nick Higgin, Anthony Peake and Alan Roberts spoke about their work, while Jonny Gillet and John Bromley-Davenport gave storytelling performances.
In the High Street church there was an art exhibition and talks by sculptor Stephen Broadbent and art historian Adrian Sumner.
Shocklach Primary School pupil James Cooksey won the short story competition for under-11s, Alice Jones from Bishop Heber High School for the 12-18 group and Sheila Powell and Olwen George were the adult winners.
And a performance from folk legend Peggy Seeger was the perfect way to close Malfest.
John Oakden, who directed the event, described it as an ‘enormous success’.
“It really brought together the whole community,” he said.