GALLERY: Dairy Festival attracts thousands to Weston-super-Mare
PUBLISHED: 13:00 09 August 2017
Thousands of people descended on Weston Dairy Festival to learn about agriculture and try their hand at being a farmer.
The event’s organisers said the festival was a success despite having to battle bad weather and heavy traffic jams at the beginning of the five-day event.
Co-organiser Lorraine Young said: “We are really pleased with how the dairy festival went.
“Because of the windy weather and traffic we saw a decrease in footfall on the Thursday and Friday, but Saturday and Sunday were very busy.”
Although official numbers have not been announced, it is thought thousands of people headed to the Beach Lawns, in Marine Parade, on Saturday and Sunday.
Weston Arts Social Enterprise director Terry Gilbert, a lead organiser, said he ‘could not be happier’ with the overall turnout and the weather at the weekend.
Lorraine told the Mercury the festival focused on education this year in the hope of teaching the town’s young people about farming, animals and agriculture.
She added: “The kids loved the duck and ferret races, which were interactive and really engaged the young people.
“It was amazing to see as some of the children had never seen these kind of animals before, one child even mistook a calf for a camel.”
Families were also able to try their hand at milking a cow and climbing on a tractor as well as exploring more than 80 craft stalls and 20 local food vendors.
The lawns were filled with music throughout the weekend, with music from the likes of Ellie Rialas, The Zeals, Dan Donnelly and Mohawk Radio.
The festival was first launched in the 1960s and attracted thousands of people each year before it was cancelled after funding was withdrawn.
But new organisers breathed new life into the event in 2015 when new organisers revived it with help of new sponsors, 20 years after it was cancelled.
But more funding is needed to sustain the popular seaside event in the long run.
Lorraine said: “We do not want to be a paid event but it costs more than £30,000 to operate the dairy festival.
“We hope the event will come back next year but it comes down to the sponsorship.”