ALCESTER knows how to throw a party and the return of the town’s food festival was just that – one big party and the busiest in the festival’s history.
There were 100 stalls in High Street and beyond selling cheeses, pies, breads, meats, sausages, fruit and vegetables, chocolates, beers, ciders and wines, and with all that on offer it’s easy to see why people travelled from around the West Midlands to taste the tempting treats.
Organisers believe that Saturday’s festival – back after Covid – saw the most people ever attend the event.
Festival chairman, Dave Henderson, said: “The stalls were starting to sell out by lunchtime and local suppliers who were on site had to quickly produce more items to cope with demand. One of the big advantages of the festival is the free park and ride service available to visitors, but that was so busy we had to order in additional coaches for this as well.”
Festival day starts at 4am with the stalls put in place and streets closed to traffic. It usually ends at 6pm with the stalls cleared and the streets cleaned, but on Saturday it ended an hour later than usual because there were still so many people in town.
Pubs benefitted from crowds of thirsty visitors and Alcester Court Leet visited seven different stall holders to undertake their historic assizes, where they sample food and drink before presenting stall holders with a certificate to confirm their products are top quality.
The festival has a reputation of bringing a lot of people together to enjoy a colourful scene of food and drink and it’s a recurring theme in the town, as Dave explained: “I think the culture in Alcester is amazing.
“I’ve lived in a lot of places and been here for over 20 years and it’s one of the best atmospheres I’ve ever experienced. All of the community just wants to party and this year’s food festival certainly beat all expectations.”