Alresford Watercress Festival (Sunday 15th May 2016)
On Sunday 15th May 2016, this nationally acclaimed annual festival brought 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 was no surprise that the entire centre of New Alresford in Hampshire became a huge street festival. Hampshire Farmers' Market and others created a large food market showcasing the very best local producers and a number of celebrity chefs demonstrated some delicious dishes.
There was 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 were open.
Music and dance were 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 was the street cavalcade at 10.30am when jazz musicians, Morris dancers and local school children accompanied the Watercress King and Queen who sat atop a horse and cart. The children distributed the first of the season’s watercress harvest to festival-goers.
Throughout the day, entertainment was provided by the many musicians and performers and there were activities for children of all ages, including circus skills workshops, face painting and a petting farm.
Many visitors also visited the medieval Soke Bridge at the bottom of Broad Street and took 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 2017, the date for your diary is Sunday 21st May.