Published: May 25, 2013
In Photos: Crowds flock to 2013 Burnham Food and Drink Festival

Thousands of visitors flocked into Burnham-On-Sea on Saturday (May 25th) for the town's hugely successful Food and Drink Festival.

The event attracted large crowds of around 7,000 people to the town centre over the course of the seven-hour festival which saw dozens of local brewers and food producers showcasing their products.

Bright sunshine throughout the day swelled the numbers visiting an outdoor market in Victoria Street, where street food sellers and stallholders reported bumper trade.

The indoor venues at the Princess Theatre, Somerset Skills & Learning in Princess Street and the Baptist Church Hall in College Street also saw a non-stop stream of visitors.

Mayor Martin Cox told "The organisers, Bev and Sarah, have done a fantastic job with the festival, especially when you consider the event was only born last year. There has been a great atmosphere across the town and this can only help put Burnham on the map for very positive reasons. Bev and Sarah have been quite rightly buzzing today - their energy and passion is superb."

Festival co-organiser Sarah Milner Simonds told "We've had a great day. I've loved listening in to people talking about the event behind the scenes - the stallholders have been expressing anxiety because they've been running out of stock and the visitors working out how they can see everything on show in the town! My cheeks are aching because I have smiled so - it has been such an incredibly positive day and we thank everyone who attended and supported us."

And co-organiser Bev Milner Simonds added: "We are delighted with how the day went - all the feedback from traders has been very positive with busy footfall throughout the day and some selling out of their stock. To have great weather during the whole day further added to making this a great success. We look forward to seeing everyone again at our next festival in September."

The event was also expanded this year to include chefs and experts demonstrating their skills, with healthy eating advice. The 'KDS Fresh Ideas Demo Stage' in Burnham Baptist Church saw up-and-coming chef Madeline Francis, 14, (right) from King Alfred School in Highbridge, demonstrate her impressive baking skills. TV chef Valentina Harris cooked up a number of top recipes from her latest book 'Valentina's Foodoir'. Stefano Silvati, who specialises in home cooked Italian food, also drew plenty of interest. Romy Gill shared some of the secrets of true Indian home cooking, while Deborah Durrant showed visitors how to make the most of raw food.

The bake-off baking contest was won by Sam Pashley with a unique hovercraft themed cake while the brew-off brewing competition was won by Liam Penn, 18, with his superb home brewed cider.

There were also free taster sessions happening all day at Somerset Skills & Learning in Princess Street where foraging for free food, organic dairy farming, sugar craft and the art of making cider brandy were in the focus from Home Hardware, Maundrills Farm, Somerset Cider Brandy, and experts Chris Westgate and Kieran Lenihan.


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