THERE was energy aplenty in Upton-upon-Severn as the 28th annual Upton Folk Festival filled the town with wall-to-wall dancing and music.

A cacophony of traditional country folk music echoed through the streets as the sun brought thousands of visitors to witness some of the UK's best morris dancing groups.

The pretty town centre groaned under the pressure of gathered groups and their followers, as well as visitors who make a special pilgrimage each year to watch the spectacle.

The event is also host to five competitions: the Andy Scarf Memorial trophy for morris announcements, the southern heat of the John Birmingham Cup for Songwriters, the Upton in Bloom duck race, the decorated duck race and the Demon Barbers clog dancing competition.

Festival chairman Richard Hannah said he was delighted to see another good turn out.

"It's gone well so far. We've had a few little hitches, but all in all it has been good. Everyone has enjoyed the dancing and the music and we get a good coverage of performers, dancers and acts from across the country. We've groups from all over: Wales, the home counties and northern England."

Mr Hannah said the success of the festival was rewarding to see and wanted to thank the people of Upton for their support, particularly the publicans and the trustees of the museum.

The festival got off to a start on Friday evening with music and dancing and then continued all day on Saturday with choreographed routines from all the visiting groups. An eye was kept on the weather as heavy showers were forecast for Saturday afternoon and more prolonged showers on Sunday afternoon.

Megan Ridgard, who dances with the Aelfgythe Border Morris group, from Alvechurch, said it was an event all dance groups enjoyed.

"We enjoy taking part and also watching other groups. Often we see a formation and it gives us an idea to adapt our own dances. It's how they evolve," she said.

On Sunday groups will take part in the festival's tradition of welcoming the first of May at sunrise with dancing around the Panorama Tower at Croome Court. Later in the afternoon the customary procession of more than 55 groups will parade from Upton Parish Church to the bridge fore more dancing and where, at 5pm, 200 plastic ducks will be launched into the river for the Upton in Bloom fundraising duck race.

On Monday a four-mile folk festival walk, beginning at the bridge, will set off at 11.30am with music, songs, poems and talks given along the way.