AROUND 2,500 people flocked to Shipston-on-Stour on Sunday to have a taster of the town’s first ever Food Festival.
With 36 stalls plus a marquee for cookery demonstrations, organisers were pleased with how smoothly things went.
“There were smiling faces everywhere,” said deputy mayor Cllr Philip Vial, one of the organisers. “The fact that it was sunny obviously helped, lots of people came and everyone seemed very happy with it.”
As well as gourmet food for adults, there was face-painting for children, while water rescue team Central Rescue UK provided medical kit for them to play with.
“The kids really enjoyed that,” said Philip.
“We also had the last-minute idea to get bundles of hay and put them in the town centre so people had somewhere to sit to have their lunch. It was nice, cheap, and easy to do, but it was very popular with people.”
The festival was such a success that all 36 stallholders have pledged to come back for the second one next year and Philip has already received e-mails from other businesses asking if they can get involved.
Ceramics company Maison Rustique sold as many products in the six-hour slot in Shipston as they did at a three-day food festival in Gloucestershire, and town centre shops also felt the benefit.
“The feedback that we had from the businesses in the town centre is that it was one of their busiest days ever,” said Philip, who said enough money was made to put on the festival again next year.
“It is the first event, so there is probably a couple of things that we can do better next year, but it went really well,” he said.
For more photos see this week's Stratford Herald.
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