This year's Cornwall Food & Drink Festival in Truro has been hailed a huge success. According to the organisers, well over 40,000 people visited the festival marquee on Lemon Quay this weekend. Early indications also show that it was the best ever for visitor numbers and commercial traders.
Ruth Huxley, director of Cornwall Food & Drink, the organisation that runs the event, was staggered by the numbers attending saying: "We know this is a popular event, but this year it has been more popular than ever, with a constant stream of people arriving even before we opened each morning until the doors closed each evening. On Saturday alone we estimate 20,000 people attended, at one point arriving at a rate of over 3,000 an hour."
All of the 60 or so exhibitors appeared to be delighted with the turnout, and also with the amount people were spending. Cornwall Food & Drink estimate that as much as £250,000 of business took place and many exhibitors also returned home with full order books.
Ruth Huxley felt that a number of factors played a part in this. She said: "Not only were there a fantastic range of products on offer, but the quality was also really top notch throughout.
"The weather always plays a part of course, and was very kind to us, helping people to relax and make the most of their day. Everything also looked absolutely stunning, with many exhibitors putting hours of work into their displays."
The festival was also the launch pad for a new Choose Cornish initiative backed by Cornwall Chamber of Commerce and festival organisers Cornwall Food & Drink. The campaign aims to reinvigorate people's interest in local produce and is intended to generate millions of pounds for the local economy. The scheme will run until the Royal Cornwall Show in June 2013.