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18,000 turn out for a Feast

Bells ring out as record crowds pile into Hope Street

Published on January 14th 2010.

18,000 turn out for a Feast

There was a fab farmers market, choirs, drummers, salsa dancing, ghost stories and, of course, food everywhere.

Yesterday's Hope Street Feast showed the city off at its best, the final event in the Liverpool Food Lovers Festival diary.

Liverpool Confidential couldn't help bumping into familiar faces, all eager to tell them what a great day they were having. If you weren't there, you weren't anywhere (except perhaps watching the clippers).

“I don't want to go home,” declared actress Eithne Brown clutching a cauliflower as she nipped out of rehearsals of the show she's in at the Royal Court. “I've been here all day and it's fantastic.”

And she wasn't the only one who was keen to stick around, as both ends of the street were closed to traffic and lined with over 50 stalls with things to eat and the bells of both cathedrals pealed out their cacophony.

Restaurants like the Everyman Bistro, Ego, 60 Hope Street and the London Carriage Works gave out free samples and special menus, and those not on Hope Street got in on the act too, with Valparaiso and Quinny's Cuisine among those cooking up a storm for eager punters.

The thinking girl's crumpet, Vasily Petrenko, conducted the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra in a free concert, and there was jazz, oompah bands, the Shiverpool crew, street theatre, karate demonstrations, latin music, and real ale tastings, gigs by Ian McNabb and Ian Prowse, and Neville Skelly with The Coral's Ian Skelly.

Organisers were delighted by the turnout, which was estimated by crowd management consultant Bill van Oudheusden. Deborah Robb, of North West Fine Food, said: “It just goes to show how much people in this city love their food and drink, and love a party.”

Nicholas Stanley, chairman of the Feast association, said "The event shows the extraordinary breadth and depth of creativity in and around Hope Street. The support for the Feast has been tremendous, both from the partners on the street who have made it happen, and the fantastic turnout.”

Bring it on for next year.

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