CRAZY CARS carried colourful creatures through Maldon as thousands of people cheered the procession of mythical "alien" Marina Mightier.
As part of the Essex-wide Sparks Will Fly event, the Greek-inspired sorceress of the sea waded among festival dancers from Plume School to Promenade Park, before carrying on her journey to meet her rival Boreas Zephyr for the Glass Bead Game.
Linked to the London Olympic games, the cultural celebration involves the two mythical characters touring Essex towns before meeting in the festival's grand finale, at Chelmsford's Hyland Park, on July 6 and coincided with the final day of Maldon's festival of arts.
Sandra Amey-Martin, part of the Sparks Will Fly organising team, said: "It was a fantastic day and we had about 5,000 people lining the streets of Maldon.
"There was a great display from the characters in Promenade Park, which 100 primary school pupils joined in with. It really did bring the whole of the Maldon district together."
Beginning at 1pm, the procession and display finished at 4pm, after the leader of Maldon District Council, David Williams, presented Marina with her "glass bead".
He told the Chronicle: "It all being linked to the London Olympics made it unique and there were some fantastic costumes.
"I presented the bead to Marina and I think the only slight downside was the wind, which perhaps limited her because she was on stilts."
Coinciding with the end of Maldon Arts Festival, Chelmsford morris dancers gave the audience a performance before a production of Pirates of Penzance closed the festival.
Organiser of Sparks Will Fly, Tony Morrison, said: "It all went really well. Marina is collecting seven beads before she meets Boreas, at Hylands Park, on July 6, for the big Glass Bead Game and picked up her fourth from Maldon."
The Big Sing Community Choir gave a performance along with the Schools Collective Choir, Maldon Youth Orchestra and Samba Jazz.