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Record turnout for Ourburystedmunds Food & Drink Festival...

Bury St Edmunds stepped up to the plate at the weekend with record numbers of visitors at its annual town centre Food & Drink Festival. Bank Holiday Monday saw the highest footfall in the town on any individual day of an Ourburystedmunds organised event for the last five years.

During the opening hours of the two-day event more than 40,000 people accessed the town centre via Abbeygate Street, with nearly 23,000 of those visiting on Monday. It was also a bumper Festival for the many stallholders, a number of whom sold out completely before the event officially closed.

Chief Executive of Ourburystedmunds, the Business Improvement District (BID), Mark Cordell, said: “This turnout shows that the event is very much established in the foodie calendar and this year’s was our best ever. It was especially good to hear the very positive comments about Bury St Edmunds from the traders attending the Festival, who praised its very friendly atmosphere.”

The event has strengthened Bury’s position on the food-lovers map, together with the town’s recent good showing in the Square Meal awards. Only nine establishments from East Anglia were in the top 100 and of those, three were from Bury St Edmunds.

Mr Cordell also paid tribute to the BID’s Events Manager Jackie Regan who oversaw the Festival. He added: “Jackie made a conscious effort to increase the variety and quality of stalls on offer and although the vast majority were local we did have one from France and another from Wales who had particularly wanted to take part.

“We are already looking at what we can do to make next year’s event better still and the fantastic range of food and drink businesses in the town has given us an excellent base on which to build the Festival.”

Highlights of this year’s Festival included displays by celebrity chefs Galton Blackiston and James Tanner, a farmers’ market and cookery demonstrations by some of the best loved restaurants in the town centre. It was complemented by a range of free family entertainment including an urban beach and a mini-farm.

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