OVER 75,000 people flocked from all over the world to make this year's Viking Festival 'the best ever', organisers said this week.
The showpiece event attracted people from across Britain and overseas - bringing an estimated £450,000 boost to the local economy.
Alex Gallagher, chair of the festival board, hailed this year's event as the best yet, saying it was set apart by its 'unique family-friendly atmosphere'.
The Festival ran for nine days, from 1 to 9 September.
Mr Gallagher added: “We were blessed with good weather this year which meant that all of our special events went ahead as planned, including a daredevil air display by Lauren Richardson and a truly breathtaking parachute jump by the Red Devils parachute team.
“I have been associated with the festival for nine years and this is the best festival for attendance numbers, spectacular events and depth and breadth of the programme."
Crowds were up on the rain-affected festival of last year, with the Viking Festival of Fire drawing a 10,000-strong crowd for the torch-lit procession and fireworks on the second Saturday.
Ray Young, Viking Festival director, said: “Total visitor numbers were in the region of 75,000 with tourists from every part of the UK, and indeed every continent. Survey results were overwhelmingly positive and allowed us to estimate that the visitors spent around £450,000, a tremendous boost to the local economy at the end of the tourist season.
"This is a fantastic outcome for what was, a few years ago, a small local event”. 
Mr Gallagher added “Our patron, Norwegian Professor Magnus Fladmark, is ill and his presence was hugely missed.
"A large vote of thanks is due to the festival board, who work tirelessly throughout the year to plan and deliver the festival and without whom none of these things would take place. Special thanks are due to the people of Largs for turning out in such great numbers.
"We were especially delighted by the increased number of local groups joining the opening parade. It is the aim of the festival board to provide a festival which is truly community based and which delivers for the local community.
"We believe that we have succeeded in that aim.
"The festival could not have happened this year without the financial support and in-kind support of North Ayrshire Council, Malin Waters, Magnox Socio-Economic Scheme and a host of other contributors. We are also extremely grateful for the support of the Largs Community Resilience Team, who kindly assisted throughout.
This list is not exhaustive and we regret our inability to thank all supporting groups and individuals, but it serves to illustrate how many local and national people and organisations come together to provide the Largs Viking Festival. 
"The board is now looking forward to similar success in 2019”.