& reaction: Crowds flock to sun-soaked Burnham Food Festival
weather brought a huge crowd of 16,500 people into Burnham-On-Sea's
town centre on Saturday (October 31st) for the town's seventh
Food and Drink Festival.
100 traders offered tastings and samples of products, which ranged
from local specialities like cider and cheese, to foreign cuisine
and chocolates, alongside workshops, competitions and demonstrations.
Bev Milner Simonds told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "What an amazing
day! We have received so much great feedback from so many people
saying that the town's car parks were full, the seafront was full,
and so many people were wandering our town centre enjoying a day
out in the sunshine."
were blessed with glorious weather and we welcomed so many great
food and drink producers into the town centre to showcase fantastic
goods. It's heartening that we are surrounded by such lush countryside
here and are able to have so many grade-A products in the heart
of our town. It's really important to us to show Burnham off and
I think the town did itself proud."
MP James Heappey, who visited the festival for several hours,
right, told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "I do not know how
the organisers, Bev and Sarah, do this. It's quite extraordinary
that on October 31st it's been 20 degrees and yet again the Food
Festival was bathed in the most glorious sunshine, bringing out
thousands of people to buy ice creams rather than hot chocolate!"
"This is a great example of finding an appetite locally
for celebrating all the great food and drink that is produced
here in Somerset which draws visitors from far and wide. It's
exactly what we need to be doing here in Burnham, Somerset makes
world-class food and drink and these food festivals are a real
celebration of what we this county does so well."
Burnham's Mayor, Cllr Michael Clarke, added: "It's been
great to see another super festival here in Burnham. We were so
lucky with the weather and it was great to see such huge crowds
spoke to several of the visitors to get their thoughts on the
event. Among them was Matt Scott, who said: "It's fantastic
to see so many people in the town - we always look forward to
stocking up on the olives at this event."
Jenny Franks added: "It's always great to visit this festival.
We love a walk to take a look at the local produce."
Burnham's former MP Tessa Munt, who was among the festival-goers,
added: "It's been a brilliant festival once again. It's such
a success story for Burnham that seems to grow every time. The
weather made it such a magic day."
Another visitor, Shannon Jenkins, added: "We always enjoy
having a look around - the wide range of food and drink on show
is just fantastic."
Traders at the festival also gave positive feedback. Carl Stevens
from Winnies Bakery told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "It's been a
fantastic festival for us with a very busy day of sales. We sold
over 600 bakery items, which is a new single-day record for us
at these kind of events!"
Alan Kidner from M and K Kidner Fruit and Veg added: "It's
been very busy festival - the weather was kind and the visitors
really appreciate our local produce, particularly as there is
no greengrocer here in Burnham any longer."
Jonny Butler at Into Coffee added: "It's great to see our
home town so busy - I love the atmosphere during these festivals.
It was a really busy day for us, people loved our coffee. Trade
was busy all day."
Somerset Charcuterie was awarded the title of 'best in show'.
Festival co-organiser Sara Milner Simonds said they were chosen
"for being so hard working and having such amazing products."
Alan Lyons, head of the Bath and West Show, and Sue Cox from
sponsors Bakkavor, presented the award to owner James Simpson
who said it was "a great honour to be chosen - we put in
a lot of hard work to put together a stand that's attractive with
great products and it's great to be recognised in this way!"
those demonstrating their talents at the KDS-sponsored cooking
stage at the Baptist Church in College Street were Bini Ludlow,
who runs her own Indian cookery school in Somerset, followed by
previous Great Burnham Bake-Off winners Nigel and Pat Smith, who
shared the secrets of their award-winning sourdough bread, and
then Kate Gardiner, a chef from Purple Spoon. They drew
highly positive feedback from the audiences through the day.