THOUSANDS of people flocked to Bournemouth's King's Park at the weekend to sample the tastes, sounds and culture of Thailand.

The 11th Thai Summer Festival took place on Saturday and Sunday, after being opened by Bournemouth Mayor Cllr Chris Mayne - who got into the spirit of things by dancing on stage with two pink feather fans.

Event presenter Nigel Gillespie told the Daily Echo: “The mayor's dancing was quite a sight. He was wearing a hat and danced with these pink fans, the crowd loved it.”

Nigel joked: “I said to the people at the time, 'if you see a man walking around in a suit and a trilby hat that looks like a gangster, don't worry he's the mayor of Bournemouth and he's just escaped.”

The fun continued throughout the weekend, with performances by London's Thai Culture and Dance Centre, dancers from Boscombe, Thai boxing demonstrations and a variety of craft, food and drinks stalls.

Pop star Kandy Rakkaen, a huge name in her native Thailand, also performed on both days.

Nigel said: “We didn't quite realise just how much of a star at home Kandy was - the Thai people flocked around her when she came on stage. She had her own security and crew and is a really big star.”

Saturday's rainy weather kept numbers down to several hundred, organisers said, but Nigel told the Echo on Sunday he was expecting the usual three or four thousand attendance.

Nigel said: “We had a super time, it was a really great event.”