Photo gallery: Thousands flock to Fair in the Square in Highgate as disco-dancing sheep take to stage

Disco-dancing sheep, bungee jumping and the cast of racy puppet show Avenue Q were among the highlights as thousands braved the rain for the Fair in the Square on Saturday.

Families flocked to Pond Square in Highgate for the festival’s 2013 instalment – and a few downpours could not stop them from enjoying a fun-packed and food-filled afternoon.

New attractions included a train carrying visitors up-and-down South Grove and The Sheep Roadshow, which drew some of the biggest crowds of the day as “sheep showman” Ginger Sutton demonstrated the perfect shearing technique – before getting the animals to perform a dance routine as disco music blasted out.

He said: “It’s great to see how many people have come out for the fair.”

There was plenty to keep the youngsters entertained, including an art workshop tent, Punch and Judy show and mini bungee jump.

Scores of charities, local societies and arts and crafts designers held stalls and dozens of food vendors were on hand to feed the hungry crowds.

Highgate resident Elif Bowers, 47, who was with her husband Chris and daughters Ayse, 14, and Leyla, 10, said: “We’ve been coming for 10 years. It’s like a ritual and it’s really nice to see the community come out.”

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Festivities on the main Pond Square stage were kicked off with a burst of musical sunshine from the Hornsey School for Girls’ Steel Band before former Family Fortunes host Les Dennis officially opened proceedings.

There were more than a dozen acts including choirs from Highgate Primary School, young ballerinas from Highgate Ballet, two Morris dance troupes, belly dancers Rosy And The Bellydance Belles, and 14-year-old singer-songwriter Joss Littler.

John Plews of the Upstairs at the Gatehouse theatre, who has programmed the main stage since the 1990s, said: “I was amazed that everyone stayed during the rain. My only suggestion is that they try and put a roof on Highgate for next year.”

Many singled out the Leominster Morris Dancers for special praise after they kept going during the biggest downpour of the day.

Actor Jim Sturgess, from Tufnell Park, said: “It’s always nice to see some Morris dancing in the rain.”

Ham&High editor-in-chief Geoff Martin said: “Fair in the Square just seems to get better and better.”

Seyho Kurt of Brooksby Newsagents, who gave away 500 free Ham&High copies featuring a pullout Fair in the Sqaure guide – providing a makeshift umbrella to some – said: “It was fantastic, it’s great to see people from all over coming to Highgate.”

Jacquie Richardson, one of the organisers, said: “We were delighted with the crowds who turned out and with our volunteers who stalwartly stood their ground during the rain. We can’t control the weather, but it didn’t matter.

“The whole idea is to celebrate the local community and it did that very well. We’re all volunteers and it’s a huge amount of work, but it’s absolutely worthwhile.”

The organisers would like to thank all the sponsors: The Highgate Hospital, estate agent Benham & Reeves, Casablanca Marquees, art shop Cass Art, Camden Council, the Ham&High, The Highgate Society, recruitment agency Retail Human Resources, the Highgate Literary and Scientific Institution and chartered surveyors Gilmartin Ley.

* Click link on right-hand side of this page to see 98-photo picture gallery