THOUSANDS of revellers enjoyed the continental feel at the fourth annual Clitheroe Food Festival.

More than 100 traders took advantage of the afternoon sunshine as the event took over the town centre yesterday.

Organisers said they were delighted with a strong turnout for the festival, which was sponsored by Blackburn brewery Thwaites.

Ian Lloyd, who sits on the festival’s board of directors, said he believed the turnout was an improvement on last year’s, which saw almost 20,000 visit venues including Castle Street, King Street and Clitheroe Market.

He said: “We’re very pleased with the turnout. I’m not going to put a figure on it but I’d say numbers are slightly up on last year.

“We’re surprised at the number of people coming from out of town and outside Lancashire just for the festival, and that’s pleasing because that’s really what we’re all about - promoting Clitheroe and the Ribble Valley.”

Julie Whalley, festival co-ordinator, said she was also thrilled with the amount of visitors who had travelled from outside the county in spite of the forecast.

She said: “The weather came good in the afternoon and we’ve seen more people arriving throughout the day.

“The people who are here have come from all over - we’ve had coachloads of people coming specifically for the event.”