A FUNDRAISING auction in aid of one of the UK's top arts extravaganzas will ensure it can continue attracting top acts, organisers hope.

Kendal Arts International has promised a 'mint' night out as it seeks to maintain the strength of the town's annual Mintfest spectacle.

The three-day street arts festival brings world-class performers to Cumbria, providing a huge economic and cultural boost to the region.

But the largely-free showcase relies on public support to attract the best international acts.

A special auction night, including entertainment from some of the festival’s popular regulars, will be held on March 1 at Kendal College to raise funds for September's festival.

It will be compered by Ulverston comedy-duo the Bread and Butter Theatre Company.

Lots on offer for generous bids include:

caving and tubing adventure days out;

original artwork;

a guided day on the fells with a special picnic lunch;

private performances from Mintfest stars;

lunch and a special tour of Holker Hall;

a signed print by Olympic gold medallist Jonathan Edwards;

an unusual writing course and;

a bespoke handmade puppet

And more lots will be announced before the event.

Julie Tait, Kendal Arts International director, said: “We are so happy that Mintfest has evolved into one of the area’s most popular events, drawing audiences from far and wide to see international, and home-grown, performers.

“The auction evening promises great cabaret style entertainment as well as the chance to bid on some unique items.

“We hope that lots of people will come along to the auction or bid for items online, and that the evening will make help make Mintfest 2013 one of the best ever.”

The auction starts at 7.30pm and the strictly limited tickets are priced at £15 on a first come first served basis.

A 'typically surreal Mintfest entertainment' feel is promised throughout the evening, with guests greeted with a welcome drink on arrival.

Food will also be available at the bar.

For more details of the event go to www.lakesalive.org

People who are unable to attend can make bids via email or telephone up until 5pm on February 28 by contacting jenny@kendalartsinternational.com or 01539 720252.

Kendal Arts International recently raised an additional £20,000 for Mintfest through the Big Give Christmas Challenge, a scheme in which £10,000 of public donations to the festival were matched by the organisers of the Big Give and other supporters.