THOUSANDS of food lovers flocked to Evesham at the weekend to enjoy its second annual Pie and Ale Festival.

Organisers said the event was a great triumph as visitors and local people mingled in the packed Abbey Park and Market Square.

There were samples of a wide selection of the finest food and ales the Vale of Evesham has to offer, including Asum Ale from Evesham Brewery, the ever-popular Piddle in the Hole and Crop Slasher by Wyre Piddle Ales and Sadler’s Ales Mellow Yellow and Worcester Sorcerer.

Worcestershire culinary king Daren Bale, from the Hop Pole Inn in Bewdley, was the expert pie judge on the day, assisted by Evesham Market Town Partnership’s manager Shawn Riley.

The best home-made pie prize went to Jody Alexander, from Evesham town centre, while Sadie Downey, from the Outdoor Pig Company, in the town's Chapel Street, led the way in the professional categories, being named champion for the best pork pie and best overall pie.

With children-friendly stalls in the churchyard and dancing, magic acts and music on the main stage, the festival attracted people of all ages.

Festival organiser Vicky Lawson said: “It was a fantastic event and we think there were around 2,000 people there. It was bigger and better than last year and the event has certainly become firmly fixed in the town’s festival calendar.

“I’d just like to say a big thank you to Daren Bale and all the Vecta members who supported the festival and helped make it happen.”