The countdown is now on for the start of one of the biggest arts festivals ever organised in Huntingdonshire.

Graham Buck will be handing out leaflets in his coat of many colours. Picture: ARCHANTGraham Buck will be handing out leaflets in his coat of many colours. Picture: ARCHANT

Huntingdon and Godmanchester will be transformed for the inaugural Bridge Arts Festival, set to take place from April 6-7 across 16 venues in the two towns.

The free event is being organised by Huntingdon and Godmanchester Twinning Association, sponsored by the respective town councils, and the association's twin towns in France, Italy, Hungary, and Germany will also be contributing.

Hundreds of volunteers have invested thousands of hours in organising the event, and the preparations are now in the home straight, with displays starting to open in windows and at venues across the two towns.

Visitors to Huntingdon will also spot a brightly-coloured addition to Huntingdon's Market Square on market days between now and April 3, with volunteer Graham Buck wearing a special knitted coat of many colours to hand out festival leaflets.

Some 44 artists will be taking part in the festival, made up of 18 individual artists, 14 art groups, seven performance groups, and five workshops -all hailing from Huntingdonshire.

Among those taking part is Trevor Dyer, a ceramicist, who is welcoming people to his studio in Pinfold Lane, Godmanchester.

Among the venues set to host exhibitions and performances are Huntingdon Town Hall, All Saints' Church, the Bridge Hotel, the Queen Elizabeth School, Comrades Club, and the Cromwell Museum, among others.

Shakespeare at the George are preparing a special performance for the event, with Hunts Drama Club and Hunts Youth Theatre also set to take part.

Preparations for the event have been more than a year in making and have been led by joint directors David Brown and Liz Perrett. They have commissioned a series of 'yarnbomb' decorations that will adorn key venues and landmarks across the two towns, which are being painstakingly created by a team of 20 knitters.

Hartford Art Group is among the groups exhibiting during the event. Pam Clark, a group member, said: "It is a really good opportunity for us and many other artists in the area to display our work and make contact with the public. Thank you very much to David, Liz and the committee for their hard work. Organising the Bridge Arts Festival is huge commitment and I hope it is a great success."

To find out more about what is planned, log on to www.HGTA.eu or search for Huntingdon and Godmanchester Twinning Association on Facebook.