The number of visitors to this year’s Stamford Georgian Festival “far exceeded” the 22,000 people who enjoyed the last event two years ago.
Organisers South Kesteven District Council organised an independent footfall survey to measure the number of visitors to Stamford over the weekend for the second event and although final figures have not yet been released, it is expected to have far exceeded the festival in 2013, when an estimated 22,000 people visited on the Saturday.
The district council was equally delighted to welcome back the head of Visit England James Berresford, who joined TV historian Lucy Worsley to officially open the event on Friday last week.
Mr Berresford said: “It is an absolute pleasure for me to be back here in this wonderful town. I was here two years ago for the inaugural event and it’s a real pleasure to see how the festival has developed and how the programme has developed into something you can be more than proud of.
“To my mind Stamford offers a quintessential English heritage experience and it’s festivals like this that help put any district on the map. You are in danger of making Stamford my very favourite tourism town.”
The festival included a craft market in Broad Street and a military encampment on The Meadows, street entertainers amused shoppers across the town, and Horrible Histories performed at Stamford Corn Exchange.
There were also performances in Browne’s Hospital and Stamford Town Hall, as well as carriage rides in the town centre and old fashioned children’s rides on The Meadows.
But the highlight of the festival was a carnival re-enactment of the bull run, which culminated in a show on The Meadows, watched by a crowd of 5,000, where a bull was set alight to a background of fireworks and music.
Coun Linda Wootten, cabinet portfolio holder for leisure and arts, was thrilled with how the festival had gone.
She said: “It was fantastic to see so many people in the town.
“The feedback so far is that the street market enjoyed excellent trade which can only be a positive thing for the footfall in Stamford town centre, and our bookings across the weekend were up on the last festival.”