Bury St Edmunds Food and Drink Festival scored its busiest single day ever as thousands of people sampled the town’s culinary delights.
From celebrity chefs to scores of stalls as well as a beach, a taste of Rio and mini farm, there was fun for all the family at the bustling event on Sunday and Monday.
And organisers Ourburystedmunds say the festival has proved more popular than ever with 40,255 people in the town centre during the event.
Chief executive Mark Cordell said their footfall camera in Abbeygate Street counted 22,929 people on Monday - the greatest for any single day at any event they have held since 2011.
Mr Cordell said: “I am delighted at this huge turnout for our event which is now well established in the ‘foodie calendar’,
“Jackie Reagan, made a conscious effort to increase the variety and quality of stalls on offer and the vast majority were local although we did have one trader from France and another from Wales.
“The Ourburystedmunds BID has worked hard to get Bury onto the ‘foodie map’ and the fetsival is just one way of achieving that but we are greatly helped by the large number of great food and drink businesses in the town.
“This has recently been acknowledged by the Square Meal awards when Bury had three of the nine establishment from East Anglia listed in their top 100 restaurants in the UK.
“I think this was our best Food and Drink Festival ever with many stalls selling all their stock well before the end of Monday. Just as importantly though our businesses across the town also appear to have had a great weekend too.”
On Sunday, Galton Blackiston, from North Norfolk’s Michelin-starred Morston Hall, gave a cooking demonstration in the Aga Rangemaster Theatre Kitchen, on Cornhill. He was followed by James Tanner on Monday.
The seaside was brought to the town centre as families enjoyed a beach at the arc shopping centre.
There were also cake-decorating workshops, face-painting in Cornhill Walk, a mini farm in Abbeygate Street and a Rio themed carnival atmosphere with drumming and mask making in Langton Place.
The fun at St Edmundsbury Cathedral became curiouser and curiouser as it hosted a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party.
More than 200 people enjoyed croquet, dressing up, painting a Cheshire cat, skittles and dominoes.
Colchester artist Nicola Burrell helped youngsters make their own huge mad hats and animal masks.
The Very Rev Dr Frances Ward donned the Queen of Hearts costume with cathedral administrator Tony Kimber as the Mad Hatter and visitors and volunteer manager, Hannah Ratcliffe as Alice.