May 27, 2017
Huge crowd of 27,000 people flock to Burnham-On-Sea Food Festival

Thousands of people filled the streets of Burnham-On-Sea on Saturday for the town's tenth Food & Drink Festival which was hailed a big success by traders and organisers.

Over 130 traders showcased the best of Somerset food and drink across the town centre, alongside displays that included cookery demonstrations, tractors and farm animals.

Co-organiser Bev Milner Simonds told the total footfall had been 27,000 during the day, as recorded by the people counters.

She said: "We are thrilled with how the 10th festival went. The streets were crowded from when we opened to when we closed. We have had great feedback from our traders, local businesses and visitors. It was a glorious day to be beside the seaside. This was our tenth festival and when we return in October the focus will be changing with more 'making and learning something new' sessions than ever before. A big thank you to all those who help to make this event possible."

The tenth festival opened at 9am and while the morning saw grey weather, the sunshine burst out in the afternoon.

The visitors enjoyed a day of entertainment with tractors, livestock, buskers, demos, workshops and scores of food stalls in five indoor venues and a large outdoor market.

The food and drink producers offered staples like cheese, bread, chutneys and meats alongside cakes, chocolates, wines and pies plus hot foods.

BBC Somerset's Claire Carter hosted the cooking demonstrations at the Fresh Ideas Demo Stage, sponsored by Burnham's KDS Interiors, where six popular cooking talents each brought something they know for audiences to enjoy. They included children's cookery authors Kate Morris and Sally Brown, pictured above.

Traders reported mixed trade during the day. Xocolat's Mandy Gair said: "We were really busy, it was our busiest event yet. Our marshmallows and fudge were the top sellers!"

Edward Sowerby at Great Tastes added: "We saw fair trade, but it's a superb festival that is very well run."

Francine Lee at Bumblees added: "It's been a quieter year for us than previously - there were lots of similar traders selling preserves, but but overall we love this festival."

Robert Hawker at Hawker's Venison said: "It's been an excellent day - we did very well and almost sold out."

And Hary Fry at Harry's Cider added: "It's been a great day on our third year at this festival. We always have a great day - this is one of the best food festivals that we do."

Mark Kidner at MD Kidner fruit and veg said they'd had a "superb day" with a lorry full of fruit and veg being sold.

Town centre shops reported mixed trade through the day with shops at the southern end quiet, but others around the festival busy.

Deryk Monaghan at KDS Interiors in Victoria Street said: "We had a great day - it was very busy for us and we even sold a whole kitchen display!"

Sea Foods's Gaynor Wright added: "It's been really busy for us - we set up a stall outside the shop and attracted lots of passing trade."

Home Hardware's Phil Hemming added: "It's not been much different for us - there were plenty of extra people outside but no extra trade."

Flowers and Things's Julie Dean said: "It's been a good day for us, we were busier morning than normal and had promoted varioius festival day special offers and multi-buy deals online which worked well."

Truckle's Ron Bashford added: "We have had a busy day, and it was good to see new customers coming in - we saw some good sales from visitors."

The 'People's choice' award for best in show went to Gluten Free Gourmet, pictured above.

Little Jack Horners pies was named 'best in show' - its owner James Davies, pictured above, said he was "very proud and hugely chuffed."

Berrow Beef won the festival's 'Local Food Hero' award, which was presented by the event's organisers and Lib Dem election candidate Tessa Munt, pictured below.

Conservative candidate James Heappey was also spotted out and about during Saturday's festival, meeting traders and visitors, as below.

Visitors to the festival were spoilt for choice, with a wide range of locally-produced hot and cold food went on sale at the event.

Related link:
Security stepped up at Burnham-On-Sea Food Festival after Manchester


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