November 1 2014 Latest news:

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An estimated 10,000 people flocked to Belper for this year’s event

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Last year, the Belper Food, Real Ale & Craft Festival was said to have ‘truly arrived’ as thousands flocked to the town on the first warm sunny day the festival had experienced since it began in 2007. This year the sun shone again and an estimated 10,000 people poured into Belper, which was easily a record turnout, and the number of stalls topped 100 – a remarkable rise considering the first event attracted just 20.

Organised by Belper Town Council, this year’s festival delivered another highly diverse range of produce from retailers across the East Midlands and beyond.

Stallholders included Amber Ales, Apna Spices, Bittersweet Chocolates, Hungry Buddha and Mrs Bishop’s Doggy Deli from Nottinghamshire which makes handmade food treats for pets. On other stalls there were meats, cakes, cheese, savouries, ciders and olives plus vegan pâté, buffalo meat, gluten-free puddings, Nepalese cooking sauces and red pepper jelly. There were also numerous craft and gift stalls with more town shops than ever supporting the day by opening for business, plus face painters, balloon sellers, and organisations like Transition Belper, Belper Civic Forum and Friends of Matlock Bath Pavilion on hand to publicise their good works. The Festival also included an Arts Trail, a display of well dressings and bandstand entertainment at the River Gardens, and the usual array of musical acts and dance troupes to enhance the street party atmosphere of the day.

Next year’s Festival is scheduled for Sunday 13th July and a similar Christmas Food Festival has been planned for Sunday 1st December 2013.

Photographs by Ashley Franklin

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