MORRIS dancers and folk musicians brightened up an otherwise dreary day at Poole Quay.

Adorned in a colourful array of ribbons and sashes, dozens of traditional dance groups skipped and twirled their way along the quayside, waving handkerchiefs, sticks, and even swords, as they went.

The procession, which also featured belly dancers from Swanage, formed part of Poole’s Folk on the Quay festival.

Thousands of people have flocked to the quay to watch musicians perform on two stages. Despite the threat of rain, the crowds are enjoying performances from headliner Marry Waterson, Baraka – a unique combination of musicians from Ghana, Senegal, Dominica, Trinidad, and Southern Ireland – contemporary acoustic folk duo Gilmore and Roberts, and one of the UK’s top bluegrass and folk acts, The Carrivick Sisters.

Other acts include Wareham Whalers, Alex Beds, Aimee Mackenzie, Delphis, Scuttle Shake, Heg and the Wolf Chorus, Kadia, and Alden, Patterson, and Dashwood.

The dance procession kicked off just after 3pm and saw dance sides showcase their routines, accompanied by the sound of string, brass, wind, and percussion instruments.

There were Morris dancing displays from the likes of Poole-based groups Anonymous Morris and Hobos Morris, and sword dancing by Dorset Buttons Rapper.

Different styles of folk dancing were displayed by the Morena Dance Company, a Solvak folk dance group and Spank the Planks, which specialise in Appalachian clog dancing.

Middle Eastern moves were performed by Bahara Belly Dance.

The free festival, organised as part of Poole’s Wave 105 Summertime in the South events programme, was developed and funded by Poole Tourism and the brainchild of events manager Anne Simpson.

Working with folk music event organisers Paul and Catherine Burke, the festival included a main stage at the roundabout on Poole Quay and the Landlubbers stage opposite the Poole Arms.