More than 100,000 people were out in force at Gloucester Quays Food Festival this weekend in an event which ‘put the city on the map’ and provided a boon for businesses.
The festival welcomed celebrities such as Great British Bake Off judge Paul Hollywood and Saturday Kitchen’s James Martin, who gave cooking demonstrations and met their Gloucester fans.
Last year’s bake off winner Frances Quinn also helped to judge a baking competition, and shoppers browsed more than 120 food and drink stalls with produce such as vintage wines, cheeses and meats.
Visitors did not let the downpours on Saturday dampen their spirits, and organisers said that the festival was bigger than ever before.
Andrew Mitchell-Stead, events manager for the Gloucester Quays, said Paul Hollywood has expressed his interest to return to the festival.
He said: “The turnout exceeded all our expectations and really helped to put the city on the map. Events like these bring huge benefits to the city as visitors were staying in our hotels, eating in our restaurants and using the rest of our facilities.
“They really help to raise the profile of the city and it’s great that celebrities are so keen to come to the festival. James Martin is a big fan of how the festival has developed and likes how unique it is and Paul was fantastic.”
The annual event also featured live music, craft stalls and cookery classes throughout the Quays and Docks.
Jason Smith, chief executive officer of Marketing Gloucester, said: “It was wonderful to see so many people turn up to the Docks and to see so many businesses getting involved was a really good thing.
“These events bring people from across the country and beyond to Gloucester and they were using the restaurants, shops and other services which employ people in the city and helps the economy enormously.
“It also raises Gloucester’s national profile and shows that we are a great place to hold events, and acts as a catalyst for further events to take place.”
The three-day event was kicked off on Friday with a Taste of Gloucestershire day, which paid homage to the delicacies of the area.