HUNDREDS of tattoo enthusiasts gathered for a colourful celebration.
The ninth Tattoo Arts Festival in Peterlee brought together artists from across the country and as far away as Norway and Poland.
More than 20 artists worked on people and there were more than a dozen trade stalls.
Entertainment included Zirken Der Grotesken, whose performance included stilt walking, magic and snake handling.
The festival at Peterlee Leisure Centre has become one of the biggest events in the tattoo world’s calendar since it was first started by Horden tattooist, Eddie Hardiman.
His wife Brenda and daughter Trudy also help run the festival.
Among the crowd was Lee Harker, 38, from Horden, who was having his latest tattoo, Fallen Angel, inked by Eddie’s daughter-in-law Bev Hardiman.
Lee said: “I come every year, but I don’t get a tattoo done every year. I have always liked tattoos, but I research my tattoos really well until I find something that suits me. It’s not something you should rush into.”
Brenda said the event, which is for over 18s only, has become so popular is attracts people from all walks of life.
She said: “We get a range of people from those covered in tattoos to people who don’t have any. Even if they don’t want to have tattoos a lot of people are still interested in it and like to appreciate the artwork.
“People take the competitions really seriously and this year we had 17 different categories.”
Among the categories was best male leg, female leg, bodysuit, portrait and Celtic and tribal designs.
Funds were raised for the Great North Air Ambulance.