Liverpool Giants: Huge crowds bid farewell on last day

"Giants" street puppets during a street theatre performances Image copyright PA
Image caption The 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.

A huge puppet named Little Boy Giant is transported along the dockside Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption It was Little Boy Giant's first visit to Liverpool
huge crowd on Strand Image copyright PA
Image caption Thousands 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.

boy giant in boat pulled through dock by boat Image copyright Giant Spectacle
Image caption Little Boy Giant left Liverpool in a massive sandal on Sunday
people watch big giant on beach Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The 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.

people watch on new brighton Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption It 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."

Xolo the Dog walks past crowds
Image caption Xolo 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."

Giant Man walks along the promenade at New Brighton Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption A giant paraded along New Brighton promenade
puppeteers operate giant Image copyright PA
Image caption The 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."

crowds at Albert dock Image copyright PA

'Rousing applause'

Kaleigh Watterson, BBC News, Liverpool

Media playback is unsupported on your device
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.

giant strides in front of Liver Bird building
Image caption Crowds watch a giant walk past the famous Royal Liver Building
Little Girl Giant Image copyright PA
Image caption Little Girl Giant made a surprise appearance after her visits in 2012 and 2014
Giant Man walks along the promenade at New Brighton Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption A giant paraded along New Brighton promenade

The Giants' parade ended at 16:00 BST.

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