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Stowmarket Food and Drink Festival could return after record breaking year

More than 5,000 attended last weekend's Stowmarket Food and Drink Festival, which has become one of the town's most popular events.

Sunday's event (July 7) in Market Place, which was the festival's second running, proved so popular that many of the 50 stalls were selling out long before the close of play.

Stowmarket Food and Drink Festival 2019 in Market Place
Stowmarket Food and Drink Festival 2019 in Market Place

Especially in-demand was the new-for-2019 gin bar, which had been set-up inside the John Peel Centre - where live cookery demonstrations were also hosted.

The festival was organised by Stowmarket Town Council and held in conjunction with the Museum of East Anglian Life’s Annual CAMRA Beer Festival. David Marsh, event manager, put the success down to 'teamwork' between different organisations involved.

He said: "What we decided to put on was a big gamble, but it worked out very well.

"The biggest vote of confidence came from the traders, they pay for it to happen and luckily everyone was very happy with how it went. The weather is always a big determiner, so we were lucky it was a nice day.

"We had more fringe events this year, and one of the biggest changes was the increased family area - where children could enjoy activities such as face painting.

"There was also a positive knock on effect for businesses around the town. There was a consistent eight or nine person queue in Superdrug, for example, as people were wanting to buy suncream."

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He added that, by some estimates, as many as 6,000 could have attended, a marked increase from the 4,000 who came to the first event.

The Food and Drink Festival is now attracting numbers even greater than the Christmas light switch on events - which have long been a crowd-puller.

Mr Marsh said: "It is very likely we will host it again. We will have meetings later this week to discuss how it moves forward, but whatever we decide it will have a rosy future."

The event was sponsored by CFB IT Solutions.

For more pictures of the food and drink festival, make sure to see this Friday's Bury Free Press newspaper.

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