Bright sunshine brought huge crowds to the centre of Burnham-On-Sea on Saturday for the town’s sixth 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 over 90 traders offering tastings and samples of products.
A crowd estimated by the organisers to be almost 20,000 people flocked to the event, which saw stalls and entertainment set up along Victoria Street, College Street and Princess Street along with more in the Baptist Hall, Methodist Church and Princess Theatre.
Among the visitors were Dave and Greta Ellis, right, who travelled over five hours from Lancashire for the event. “We love coming to Burnham for this festival,” Dave told Burnham-On-Sea.com. “There are some very special local products here that you just can’t get anywhere else. We love Somerset goats cheese and some of the local curries.”
Many of the stalls enjoyed record trade. Stefano Salvati, who sells olives and Italian food, told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “We brought extra stock along because we knew it would be good trade due to the weather and in fact it exceeded expectations. We sold over 50 kilos of olives and several cases of pastries. This is one of our favourite festivals – it’s always one of the best.”
Mike Smith, who won the award for best in show, added: “We almost sold out of our produce – it’s been a great day with over £700 in sales. There were lots of people throughout the day, many of them returning from past events.”
The weather delivered a boost in trade for Chew Moo ice cream, whose Nic Parfitt said: “It was a brilliant event for us. The hot weather was a real bonus – we practically sold.”
James Heappey, Burnham’s MP, was among the visitors during the day. He told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “Bev and Sarah do such a good job in putting this on and everytime I come it seems there are even more people here. It’s a fantastic thing for the town. Hopefully people will enjoy their time here today and come back in the future.”
Bev Milner Simonds, co-organiser, said: “It more than surpassed our expectations – we were blessed with a beautiful day of blue skies and warm temperatures and boy did the crowds come out!” The streets were crowded with people from 9am – we’ve had really positive feedback from so many people visiting and it was great to see the whole town full of people having a super day out and seeing Burnham at its best.”
And Sarah Milner Simonds, co-organiser, added: “Thanks must go to our stewards and volunteers who have worked their socks off today. We also thank everyone who came – the stallholders, chefs, bakers and the visitors who patiently waited to get into some of the indoor venues while we managed crowd numbers.”
“It was very busy out there and it was great to see several ‘sold out’ signs from early afternoon with some traders saying they’d sold more than ever before. Shop owners were happy too with many seeing good footfall. Bev and I are over the moon with how the day has gone.”
RCH Breweries had plenty of customers in College Street
Cllr John Woodman was among those sampling the food
Young Izzy Simmons during her cooking demo on the KDS Stage
Visitors enjoying for their hot food during Saturday’s festival
Berrow Beef received a Local Food Hero award from the organisers
Legglands Orchards also received a Local Food Hero award
The Mayor and Mayoress tried their hand at welly wanging!
A Louisiana-style strolling 18-piece jazz band – Big Noise Street Band in action
The music drew plenty of onlookers during the hot sunshine
Cllrs Michael and Maria Clarke on the human fruit machine with Rev Graham Witts
There was plenty of liquid refreshment available during the day!
Music from local bukers joined ‘Food Fest FM’ broadcasting all around the festival
The Rotary Club human fruit machine was a hit with visitors, all for a good cause
Sweet tastes were well catered for during the day
Large crowds in Victoria Street during the day-long festival
Face painting, sheep and ducks were among the kids entertainment!
The Princess was busy with a constant stream of visitors
Bini Ludlow took to the stage, founder of an authentic Indian cookery school
The High Street was also busy with crowds of people during the day
Angela Langford, a finalist on the 2014 series of Masterchef, showed her skills
Burnham’s Mike’s Pork won the best in show award