A SCARY sea-serpent made out of coloured socks loomed over the arts marquee at Mudeford’s community arts festival.

The 57ft creature set the tone for the annual event on Mudeford Green by the quay, which had the theme of sea creatures and monsters from the deep.

A showcase for local artists to demonstrate their craft, it was, “seething with people. Absolutely terrific,” said chairman Penny Simpson, just hours after the weekend event opened.

The arts marquee boasted 136 paintings and photographs and everyone who entered could choose their favourite and vote for the best children’s exhibit.

Seventy-four stalls filled the green, offering everything from local arts and crafts to jewellery, food and ice-cream and there was a marquee where arts and crafts were demonstrated.

“It’s local hand-made art work, nothing imported and nothing manufactured,” said Penny.

Stewarts Garden Centre loaned some pots of plants, there was live music, a train raising funds for Children in Need and a tombola among many other attractions.

“It’s the best one so far,” said Penny.

“We get better at it every year.”

The festival began in 1997 as a community celebration of the arts, showing the work of artists and craftmakers and the performing arts.

In 2007 it became an annual event and much of it is aimed at inspiring children and their families to get involved.

There is painting, sculpture, photography, ceramics, embroidery, lace, fabrics and other crafts to explore during the two-day event.

And entertainment ranges from music, dance and drama to poetry readings.

The event costs £6,000 to £7,000 to stage and fundraising events take place during the year to ensure the next event is every bit as good.