Food and Drink street festival returns to huge crowds
More than 15,000 people flocked to the highlight of the Enjoy St Albans Food and Drink Festival – the street feastival.
Huge crowds packed the City Centre on Sunday 26 September for the return of the family event that was cancelled last year because of the Covid pandemic.
The turn-out in an expanded event area is believed to be the highest ever for the feastival.
Under sunny skies, people browsed more than 70 stalls showcasing an astonishing variety of food and drink products, many from local suppliers.
Among the other dazzling attractions were a cookery theatre, a charity fun fair, a sheep rodeo and a kids’ zone with free arts and crafts activities.
There was also a beach bar serving cocktails and demonstrations of Victorian cooking methods such as bread and butter making.
Live music was provided by some of the District’s most talented musicians from two separate stages to add to the atmosphere.
This year’s feastival spread out from St Peter’s Street to Market Place, the High Street and the public space by the Alban Arena to provide more space with the party starting at noon and continuing until 6pm.
Key parts of the site were sprayed with protective solutions to guard against Covid with a team of cleaners on duty all day. There were multiple hand sanitiser stations and free disposable face masks.
The Food and Drink Festival, now in its 14th year, is organised by St Albans City and District Council with the help of a steering group and a number of partners including SA Law and St Albans BID (Business Improvement District). Its aim is to promote all aspects of the District’s food and drink industry.
Councillor Mandy McNeil, Vice Chair of the Council’s Business and Regeneration Committee, said:
This was one of the most successful street feastivals we have had.
After all the lockdowns, people were extremely keen to get out, enjoy themselves and show their support for our marvellous food and drink businesses.
The crowds, helped by the sunshine, were way beyond our expectations and created a terrific community atmosphere throughout the City Centre.
Our hospitality sector is of great importance to our local economy, attracting tens of millions of pounds of visitor spend each year. The street feastival is its major showcase and it was wonderful to see it returning to such a huge audience.
The month-long Food and Drink Festival will finish with the Real Street Food Night on Thursday 30 September, 4pm to 8pm, with food stalls and a DJ in Market Place.
Cllr McNeil said:
This will be a great finale and I urge everyone, especially those who may have missed out on the street feastival, to come together as a community, enjoy another taste of great food and drink, then continue to one of our City’s many vibrant hospitality establishments.
Pictures by Stephanie Belton: scenes from the street festival including, top, Mayor of St Albans City and District, Councillor Edgar Hill, with the Mayoress, Caroline Jane Lee; more available on request
Councillor contact: Mandy McNeil, Vice-Chair of the Business and Regeneration Committee: firstname.lastname@example.org; 07854-198999.
Media contact: John McJannet, Principal Communications Officer: 01727 819533, email@example.com.