Alresford Watercress Festival (Sunday 21st May 2017)
On Sunday 21st May 2017, this nationally acclaimed annual festival will bring together thousands of visitors drawn from the local community and from far and wide to celebrate watercress - the superb locally grown, delicious and versatile crop.
Alresford was voted Country Life's 'Favourite Market Town' in the South-East. So it is no surprise that the entire centre of New Alresford in Hampshire will become a huge street festival. Hampshire Farmers' Market and others will create a large food market showcasing the very best local producers and celebrity chefs will demonstrate some delicious dishes.
There will also be a large festival market with stalls selling arts, crafts, jewellery and clothing, items for house, garden and much else besides. And many of the town's shops will be open.
Music and dance is central to the festival with a day full of performances by bands, Morris dancers and local school children. One of the main highlights of the festival is the street cavalcade up Broad Street starting at 10.30am when jazz musicians, Morris dancers and local school children accompany the Watercress King and Queen who sit atop a horse and cart. The children distribute the first of the season’s watercress harvest to festival-goers.
Throughout the day, entertainment is provided by the many musicians and performers and there are activities for children of all ages, including circus skills workshops, face painting a petting farm, climbing wall. New for 2017 are a magician and a Punch & Judy Show.
Visitors will also have an opportunity to take a look at Alresford’s historic Fulling Mill and the Eel House - a short walk along the banks of the picturesque River Arle.