City of Wolverhampton’s inaugural Festival of Food and Drink has been hailed a huge success by organisers – and will return next year on July 7 and 8.
More than 18,500 people attended the event in the heart of the city centre on Saturday and Sunday after snapping up free tickets.
Families revelled in the sunshine off Wulfruna Street, with a wide range of food and drink available alongside live music, an open-air cinema, Champagne/Prosecco bar, and traditional fairground games across both days.
Organiser William Power of Street Banquet and Director of E11EVEN GROUP, said: “It was a great event. We almost doubled our anticipated attendance and I am absolutely over the moon with its success.
“The way the city embraced the festival is astonishing and I would like to personally thank City of Wolverhampton Council for all of their support.
“It shows the ambition of the council for the city and to attract people to the city. No one I have worked with before in their first festival year has ever got close to these numbers.
“The Wolverhampton businesses seized the opportunity to work with national street food vendors; the best street food was available – and will be again next year. Put the date in your diaries now.”
Visitor comments included ‘it was family friendly, multi-cultural, and there was a fabulous choice of authentic food at reasonable prices’, ‘this event had a really good feel about it, like being at Notting Hill Carnival’, and ‘I was blown away, we need more events like this – it’s fabulous’.
Councillor John Reynolds, Cabinet Member for City Economy, said: “I am delighted the flagship event of our Visit the City of Wolverhampton programme has been so successful.
“It is another example of Wolverhampton putting itself on the map and it also illustrates why we were recently named as one of the top three UK cities to raise a family.”
Around 1,000 visitors chose to pay on the gate at the festival, which resulted in £1,000 going to the chosen charities of Mayor of Wolverhampton, Councillor Elias Mattu, and the other half to event costs.
Mayor Mattu said: “I’m tremendously proud of holding our first festival of food and drink which has bought so many new visitors to the city and given residents an opportunity to have a fabulous family day out.
“I’d like to thank the promoter for his kind donation and for everyone involved in making the weekend an occasion to remember.”