Stockton International Riverside Festival praised

Festival finale
Image caption The festival takes place in Stockton town centre and riverside

Organisers of a Teesside festival have described it as a "fantastic success".

Stockton International Riverside Festival attracted crowds of visitors over the weekend and brought an estimated £1.3m into the local economy.

The three-day event, now in its 26th year, featured musicians and performers and culminated in a parade of giant giraffes with a firework display.

Early estimates for visitor numbers were that levels were similar to the 70,000 in 2012.

Ken Dixon, Stockton Council's cabinet member for arts, leisure and culture, said: "The festival has become part of a wonderful calendar of events which brings the community together to celebrate alongside thousands of new visitors who come to see the performances.

"The weekend has been a fantastic success and shows off Stockton at its very best, putting the town on the world map of events.

"We cannot underestimate the importance of events such as these for helping to maintain employment as well as providing confidence to businesses that Stockton is a great place to be."

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