Liverpool Giants: Huge crowds bid farewell on last day

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image captionThe Giants have drawn huge crowds in Liverpool

Massive crowds have bid farewell to the enormous puppets parading the streets of Liverpool.

The creatures, known as The Giants, attracted hundreds of thousands of people to the city over the weekend.

The event, by French arts company Royal de Luxe, was the third and final one in the city after visits in 2012 and 2014.

Called Liverpool's Dream, the spectacle involved a giant man figure, a boy and a dog called Xolo moving through the streets over four days.

Liverpool City Council said early estimates showed 1.3m people had travelled to the area to enjoy the spectacle.

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image captionIt was Little Boy Giant's first visit to Liverpool
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image captionThousands of people gathered on the Strand on Saturday

Crowds cheered when Little Girl Giant, the star of previous events, made a surprise appearance on Sunday afternoon as part of the farewell.

On Saturday, the size of the crowds in the waterfront area prompted authorities to advise people to watch from other dockside locations.

image copyrightGiant Spectacle
image captionLittle Boy Giant left Liverpool in a massive sandal on Sunday
image copyrightGetty Images
image captionThe event started on Friday when a giant was seen on a beach by the River Mersey

In September, artistic director Jean-Luc Courcoult said he had made a "firm decision" to end the saga of the Giants.

Royal de Luxe plans to work on a new show involving a silverback gorilla.

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionIt has been popular with people of all ages

Spectator Karen Gallimore said: "It was fabulous! I was actually trying to get somewhere and got stuck but it was fantastic to be there.

"I came last time the Giants were here - today's been different but equally as good."

image captionXolo the Dog returns to the city after becoming a firm favourite on previous visits

Shelia Insjer, who is visiting with her family from Wigan, said: "We thought it was amazing - not just the Giants themselves but the guys that work it.

"It's good seeing a lot of people from different countries, we had some people asking what's going on."

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionA giant paraded along New Brighton promenade
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image captionThe puppeteers have been praised for strenuously operating the marionettes

Chris Simpkins, also among the crowds, said: "The people who control the Giants are brilliant.

"It's been lovely and the crowds make the event as well."

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'Rousing applause'

Kaleigh Watterson, BBC News, Liverpool

media captionMore than a million people turn out in Liverpool to bid farewell to The Giants.

Despite a cool start, Liverpool came out in force for the last day of the Giants' visit to the city.

Thousands filled the waterfront, with young and old alike jostling for space.

As the Giants and their helpers made their way, people followed to say goodbye to the Little Boy Giant as he set sail from Salthouse Dock.

The Royal de Luxe workers were given a rousing round of applause by those in awe of their efforts to bring these characters to life.

In the afternoon, bystanders climbed trees and on to bus shelters to get the best view.

When the Little Girl Giant emerged, you couldn't help but smile as the Giant Man turned his head towards her and the crowd pulled out their phones to snap their images.

Many of those I spoke to said it was an emotional experience and it felt like a remarkable moment to be part of.

image captionCrowds watch a giant walk past the famous Royal Liver Building
image copyrightPA
image captionLittle Girl Giant made a surprise appearance after her visits in 2012 and 2014
image copyrightGetty Images
image captionA giant paraded along New Brighton promenade

The Giants' parade ended at 16:00 BST.

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