Thousands flock to Bolton Food and Drink Festival
FOOD fanatics and funseekers were packed like Bratwurst sausages into the teeming streets of Bolton town centre.
Saturday’s clouds and light showers failed to put a dampener on the second day of the eighth Bolton Food and Drink Festival.
From lively entertainment to local and international cuisine, people flocked to Bolton to catch a slice of the action.
Victoria Square, the surrounding streets, Bolton Market, Crompton Place Shopping Centre and the Marketplace Shopping Centre were full of stalls, cooking demonstrations and even theatre as part of the festival.
Stallholders say 2013 has been the busiest year yet for the event.
Trader Bob Affleck, of R.S. Ireland Lancashire Black Pudding, had set out his stall in Deansgate at the festival for the fifth year.
Mr Affleck, based in Haslingden, said: “It has definitely been the busiest I’ve seen it since we’ve been coming here. We’re definitely in one of the busiest shopping areas so it has been absolutely packed.
“The weather conditions have actually been fantastic for us because you don’t want it boiling. It has been great.”
Mohammed Ali, of Island Foods Limited, had brought his family business from Blackburn to serve up his special sauces.
Mr Ali, aged 53, said: “We were here last year and once again it’s very busy. We’ve had lots of people wanting to try all our different sauces.”
The streets boasted more than 80 stalls serving up alfresco treats ranging from homemade fudge, crepes, Hungarian goulash, paella to bread, pizza, curry and, of course, beer and wine.
Mike Wright, of Dunscar Bridge Brewery, said the festival was an ideal platform for local businesses.
He added: “This weekend is great for businesses like us because it gives people to try something new.
“We’ve had all sorts of people trying all our different beers and it has been absolutely packed again this year.
“The range of food available has been phenomenal. I think it’s been a big success.”
Punters could not get enough of the variety of food.
Pete Smith, aged 58, from Doffcocker, said: “We’ve come down here especially for all of the different food. I like to try the really out-there stuff. For my next snack I might go for a crocodile burger.”
Fellow foodie Kim Hillman had travelled from Wigan for the event.
She said: “I came last year and was really impressed so here I am. I think it’s great for Bolton and the weather hasn’t been too bad either.”
For the first time this year, festival-organisers worked hard to include more food fun and entertainment for youngsters.
In Crompton Place, the upper level was transformed into new Children’s Food Emporium with activities and interactive bearhunt led by performers from the Octagon Theatre.
Cookery demonstrations were also a huge hit with festival-goers eager to pick up some professional tips.
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