October 25, 2014
In photos: Crowds fill town centre for Burnham Food and Drink Festival

A crowd of around 10,000 people filled the streets of Burnham-On-Sea on Saturday for the town's fifth Food and Drink Festival.

The celebration of locally-produced food and drink saw many of the region's best brewers and food producers taking part, with a record 92 traders offering tastings and samples of products.

Some stalls were so busy that they sold out by lunchtime. Carl Stevens of Winnies Bakers said: "It was a really busy day for us - this is definitely one of the busiest festivals in the whole region, and it's great that people appreciate quality food."

Mark Kidner of Cossey Fruit and Veg added: "Today's festival was busier than the one back in May and many other events we attend. We always get a warm welcome here in Burnham, especially because it's only English fruit and veg we sell unlike many supermarkets."

And Rachel Parsons of Dosa Me Up, which was judged the best stall by Burnham's Mayor and Mayoress, added: "It's been a very busy day for us - we were sold out by 2pm!"

Stalls were set up in Victoria Street, College Street and Princess Street plus three busy venues - the Baptist Hall, Methodist Church and Princess Theatre.

There was also a display of British tractors and ducks and chickens in Princess Street that acted as a promotion for Somerset's rural countryside.

The festival also included the well-supported Great Burnham Bake Off baking contest, won by Kate Heappey, after being judged by the BBC's Matt Faulkner, local business owner Debbie March and Sedgemoor District Council's Vicky Banham.

The Burnham Brew-Off was won by Graham Holland, whose elderflower vodka impressed the judges.

And the Burnham Burn Off chilli-eating competition was re-won by previous winner Marc Brion. A chicken wings eating contest was won by Martin Palmer.

The festival showcased scores of cuisines, from Thai, Japanese, Indian and Caribbean to American BBQ, South American and Italian to Somerset bacon rolls, pies, cheeses and bread!

Festival co-organisers Bev and Sarah Milner Simonds said they were delighted with how the event, now Somerset's largest food festival, had gone.

"It was great to see Burnham buzzing," Bev told "We thank all those who supported the festival and it was great to hear that we had visitors from as far away as London and Manchester attending! We are proud to see Burnham really building a great reputation with this event."

Cllr Martin Cox, Burnham's Mayor, added: "There was a really great atmosphere once again in town today - it was fantastic to see the crowds really getting behind the event, and watching the competitions in particular. There was a super range and quality of food on show and my congratulations to Bev and Sarah for another slickly-run event that really adds to the quality of life here in Burnham. I'm looking forward to next May's event already!"

The KDS Fresh Ideas Stage also saw several sets of demo chefs on stage providing cooking demonstrations, including Hannah Bird (pictured), Chris Westgate, Kieran Lenihan, Olly Jackson and Hideki Koike - all of whom were cooking game, such as duck and venison in line with the festival's theme.

The Mayor and Mayoress trying their hand at pizza making in the town centre

The busy scenes in College Street during the event

The award for best in show went to vegetarian Indian food stall Dosa Me Up

The Methodist Church hall was busy with visitors through the day

Visitors enjoying the wide range of stalls in Victoria Street

The crowds also stretched further along College Street

Buskers played on street corners during the day

Chickens and ducks were on show in Princess Street

Tastings and sampling were among the popular activities

RCH Brewery showed off their latest brews at the festival

Locally made chocolates were also among the popular goods available

Gift packs for those with a sweet tooth were also on show

Cup cakes rounded were among the displays in The Princess Theatre

The poultry proved a fascinating display for visitors of all ages

Festival marshall Ellie Deane with the tractor on show outside The Princess

The Mayor and Mayoress toasting another successful event with the organisers

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