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Photo special: Sunday's Rutland Food and Drink Festival attracts 7,000 visitors to Oakham Castle, Market Place and Mill Street

Oakham town centre came alive on Sunday April 7 for the bi-annual Rutland Food and Drink Festival.

More than 7,000 people were estimated to have visited the event which saw stalls line Mill Street and Market Place, as well as being inside Oakham Castle and the castle grounds.

Oakham Swing Band and Funked Down provided music and dancing, while the Grainstore Brewery added to the festival flavour with their selection of beers, ciders and soft drinks.

Visitors were spoiled for choice when it came to lunch - kebabs, burgers and sausages sizzled, while fresh pizzas and sweet and savoury pies also tempted shoppers.

Carolyn Acton-Reed, Oakham's town centre manager, has a key organiser of the festival since it began three years ago.

She said: "It was amazing - definitely our biggest food and drink festival so far!

"This time we added stall holders along Mill Street as well as having them in the castle and Market Place, and this encouraged several of the shop owners in town to open up as well, which I'm really grateful to them for doing.

"It gave people a choice of places to visit and helped visitors stay longer.

"Seeing the town so busy with everyone out and about and full of smiles was my favourite aspect of it. The whole atmosphere was so lovely."

Carolyn works with Oakham Town Partnership, and set up the festival to attract new visitors to the town. The next food and drink festival in Oakham will be on the Sunday after the clocks go back, on October 27.

Pub re-opens on Rutland, Northants and Lincs border.

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