Festival gave a flavour of the best food and drink in the valley

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Up to 4,000 people braved the unpredictable weather to sample the best food the upper Calder Valley has to offer.

The third Hebden Bridge Food and Drink Festival saw 33 stalls lined along Bridge Gate, Lees Yard and St George’s Square offering punters the chance to taste locally-sourced produce.

Hebden Bridge Food Festival.

Hebden Bridge Food Festival.

The two-day festival was aimed at attracting people to the area, showcasing the best local food - with every stall holder coming from within a 10-mile radius of Hebden Bridge - and supporting local traders. And festival organiser and Hebden Royd town councillor Christine Davenport said the event had proved a success.

“It wasn’t as busy as last year but it was still very good,” she said. “From what I saw it was a friendly atmosphere and people said it was a good event bearing in mind it had to be put on in a short time scale. To say it was cancelled six weeks ago, Calderdale Markets did a really good job in attracting a wide range of stalls.

“The weather was bad and it probably put a few people off but there was still a good turnout. But I think we certainly achieved our aims of bringing people into the town and promoting the best of local produce.”

Amongst the mouth-watering array of foods to choose from were: pizza, Mediterranean-themed dishes, pies, cakes, paella, sea food, ostrich meat, crocodile and alligator burgers, a hog roast, cheese, preserves and more. To wash the food down there were smoothies and alcoholic drinks provided by local breweries.

Coun Davenport thanked everyone involved for supporting this year’s festival and said she was going to meet with Calderdale Markets manager John Walker in the coming weeks to talk about what could be improved at the next event. They will also talk about the possibility of running a festival to coincide with the arrival of the Tour De France’s Grand Depart in the Calder Valley next year.

“When I see John Walker I’m going to ask him about running a food market around the Tour De France. There’s not going to be enough places in Hebden Bridge to cater for the amount of people who are going to be coming in to the town.

“We need to get together and see if we can put something on,” she said.

Coun Davenport, who was collecting for the Todmorden Food Drop-in at the festival, said 33 items had been donated. For more information about the drop-in contact Janet Garner on 07949 212464 or email todfooddropin@btinternet.com.