A FREE FESTIVAL FOR ALL THE FAMILY
Unusually this year will see the Alresford Watercress Festival take place on the third Sunday in September.
On that day this beautiful market town becomes the site of a huge street festival. Over 80 stalls showcase the very best local food and drink producers. Others sell arts, crafts, jewellery and clothing, items for the house, garden and much else besides.
At 10:00 a large cavalcade of musicians, dancers and children accompany the Watercress King and Queen up Broad Street as they distribute freshly cut bunches of watercress to festival goers.
Throughout the day, musicians and street performers entertain on the main stage, in St. John’s Church and on the streets. For the young, there are circus skills workshops, face painting, Punch & Judy shows, petting farm and much more.
Well-known chefs will demonstrate delicious watercress-inspired dishes. And more adventurous visitors can take up the challenge of the World Watercress Eating Championships - now in the Guinness Book of World Records.
More information such as what's on at the festival and travelling to Alresford on the day etc. can be found by following the links on the menu above.
FOOD & DRINK
Local fresh produce
Over 40 producers with Hampshire Farmers' Markets will be in Broad Street with local produce for you to taste, try and buy including free range beef, lamb, pork and chicken, rare breed meat, fresh fish, cheeses, drinks, wines, etc. There will also be many others showcasing Alresford’s restaurants, butchers, tearooms, cafés, wine merchant, milkshake bar, local brewery and traders from the town’s Thursday Markets.
Once again, we shall be presenting Watercress Festival Awards to stallholders who come up with the most creative/interesting/mind-blowingly awesome use of watercress.
ARTS & CRAFTS MARKET
Many more stalls to see at the festival
Located in West Street, Station Road and East Street, scores of stalls will be selling arts, crafts, jewellery and clothing and much else besides. You'll also find local charities and voluntary organisations on hand to provide an insight into Alresford's rich and eclectic community life.
Family fun and entertainment all day
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 10.00am 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,climbingwall.
SHOPS, PUBS & RESTAURANTS
Enjoy the best of what Alresford has
Alresford boasts numerous independent shops and several pubs, cafés, tearooms, hotels and restaurants. Most will be open throughout the day. So take this opportunity to wander around and see what's on offer, even if it's only a recce for a return visit to the town.
World record watercress eating competition
A highlight of the festival is always the watercress eating competition where contestants have to eat fresh watercress as quickly as possible. The world record is 32 seconds.
Sign up to take part or just come along to watch the fun.