The streets were flooded with bizarre beasts and strange creatures as street parties kicked off a two-week festival.

Shoreham, Lancing and Fishersgate saw artists come together with schools and community groups for the first day of the Adur Festival on Saturday.

The theme this year was Strange Creatures, with all manner of animal oddities from a giant snail to a hula- hooping praying mantis.

Residents dressed up as wild beasts and schoolchildren joined in with sock puppet creatures.

At the Sompting Big Local Hub in Cokeham Road, the Strange Creature Pop Up Pet Shop invited people in to make their own “fantastical pet” from buttons, wire, cloth and bottle tops.

Jane Gordon, lead artist, said: “It was a very pleasant day even though the rain was a bit of a downer. We still had fun inside.”

The pop-up pet shop will be open from Wednesday to Friday for both
weeks of the festival and on the weekend of May 31 and June 1 for people to drop in, make their own pet and have a cup of tea.

Since 1987 Adur Festival has grown from a small arts and dance event into a programme of exhibitions, poetry, music, workshops, walks and talks across three sites.

The festival is run with the help of volunteers and aims to foster creativity.

It is organised by theatre and festival arts professional Mella Faye Punchard.

She said: “Saturday was a brilliant culmination of effort from so many peo- ple. There’s so much more to come over the next two weeks and we can’t wait to do it all again next year.”

There will be activities every day across the Adur district until June 8.