A SUMMER celebration weekend to bring the community back together after Covid has been hailed a huge success after 7,000 people went along.

Thousands of people thronged the Beacon Arts Centre and waterfront as it staged its Meliora Festival weekend from Friday to Sunday.

Still Game stars Mark Cox and Jane McCarry kept the crowd entertained as they introduced a top line-up of local bands and artists, including popular Inverclyde duo The Laurettes.

More than 50 performances and events took place over the three days, including storytelling sessions, drumming and circus workshops, a visit by Scottish Opera and street theatre.

The centrepiece of the weekend was the huge luminarium art sculpture, which offered a striking sensory experience to the people who journeyed through its tunnels and domes of light and colour.

In total, more than 3,000 people visited the eye-catching attraction.

Meanwhile outside there were aerial dance displays, a host of food and drink stalls, magic shows and dancers.

The Beacon’s bash also incorporated this year’s Clyde Comedy Festival, with appearances from legendary actress Elaine C Smith, Scot Squad star Darren Connell and Irish comedian Ed Byrne.

Meliora Festival, which has been taking place across Inverclyde throughout May and June, was launched to offer fun, entertainment and excitement after the pandemic lockdowns and disruption.

Pauline Kane, director of the Beacon, told the Tele: “We are delighted that our Meliora Festival weekend was a huge success and that we were able to welcome so many people to the Beacon Arts Centre.

“After a difficult two years for everyone, it was the perfect way to bring communities back together for a lively weekend of entertainment and escapism.

“We are so grateful to everybody who visited, and to all our amazing performers and event organisers who helped to make the weekend so enjoyable.”