Alresford Watercress Festival (Sunday 15th May 2016)
On Sunday 15th May 2016, 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 will be no surprise that the entire centre of New Alresford in Hampshire becomes a huge street festival. Hampshire Farmers' Market and others create a large food market showcasing the very best local producers and a number of celebrity chefs 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 are always central to the festival, so there will be 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 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 and a petting farm.
Many visitors also visit the medieval Soke Bridge at the bottom of Broad Street and take a look at Alresford’s historic Fulling Mill and the Eel House - a short walk along the banks of the picturesque River Arle.
If you'd like to join us in 2016, the date for your diary is Sunday 15th May.