It was fun for all at the small, perfect Fringe
FRINGE fun found its perfect balance at the weekend, after the ups and downs of previous years. The three free days of music, dancing and all things artistic certainly fulfilled its self-proclaimed aim of being "small but perfectly formed".
One of the largest free events of its kind in the UK, the popular Stroud Fringe was cancelled in 2008 due to lack of funding.
However, the Fringe then made its comeback with a hastily-arranged mini-event and its been on the up and up every since.
This time the outdoor stages in Bank Gardens and Cornhill helped draw good-humoured crowds, estimated at around 4,500, over the weekend.
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With more than 10 other pub and club venues joining in too, the Fringe certainly made the town frolic and just had to benefit traders as hungry and thirsty revellers spent their hard-earned cash with local businesses.
Fine weather was, almost unbelievably, thrown into the mix too and, thanks to Stroud Town Council's £5,000 grant and to countless other sponsors, volunteer organisers and helpers, Stroud Fringe really, really rocked.
If, however, you yearned for a more sophisticated night out there was also the £160-a-head Brussels Ball at Berkeley Castle.
Gladrags were the order of the evening, hosted by Lord of the Manor of Edge, Amaury Blow.
Held at historic Berkeley Castle, the 400 guests including two Stroud Life "Cinderella" prizewinners went to the ball which harked back to the eve of the Battle of Waterloo.
Yet that event too had its egalitarian side with a whopping £12,000 plus being raised for the Hop Skip and Jump disabled children's play charity.
A round of applause therefore I think to both, very different, events.