A POPULAR street festival will be bigger than ever this year, expanding across County Durham.

The Durham Streets Summer Festival 2014 will feature live music, theatre and acrobatics in Durham City, Barnard Castle and – for the first time – Bishop Auckland.

The festival will run across August Bank Holiday weekend, with weird and wonderful performers including Pedro the street clown; the Space Cowboy – the only person to have won the Street Performance World Championships more than once; and pogo expert Ernest the Magnifico.

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Also on hand will be Fat Matt, winner of the 2012 Durham Streets People’s Choice Award; daredevil acrobat Felicity Footloose; comedy duo Garaghty and Thom; and Australian juggler J-P Koala.

Councillor Neil Foster, cabinet member for economic regeneration at festival organisers Durham County Council, said: “Durham Streets festival brings a real buzz to our county, entertaining audiences and giving a boost to local businesses.

“Last year, we took Streets to Barnard Castle for the very first time and received a fantastic reception from audiences.

“I’m pleased that not only are we returning to the town this year but we are also expanding further with our first ever performances in Bishop Auckland.

“I’m sure visitors to all of this year’s festival locations will have a fantastic time and that all three towns and the wider area will benefit.”

There will be performances across Durham City on August 23 and 24 from 11.30am to 5pm, including the Market Place, Millennium Place and Elvet and Framwelgate bridges.

The Travelling Treasury, a mini-theatre house in a caravan will offer seven-minute shows for one family at a time and Rimski’s Bicycle Piano will offer a cycling virtuoso and acrobat.

In Bishop Auckland, there will be Market Place entertainment on Saturday, August 23, from 11am to 3pm.

Barnard Castle will host performances at Scar Top on Monday, August 25, from noon to 4pm.

The festival is supported by Durham’s Business Improvement District, Bishop Auckland Town Council and Barnard Castle Town Council.

All the entertainment is free. For full details, visit durhamstreetsof.co.uk