Today marked the beginning of the annual Stone Food and Drink Festival.
The festival opened its gates at 12:00pm today (5 October) and will be open until Sunday 7 October.
Foodies flocked to the field to get a taste of the local produce, including savory snacks, sweet treats, alcoholic beverages, condiments, exotic ingredients and sauces as well as kitchen and homeware.
Colin Taylor has been volunteering as the festivals compare since the first festival back in 2005. He said the reason he returns every year is because “it’s great for the town.”
He added: “I really enjoy doing it. It’s tremendous fun, too.
“It benefits the town and the county economy and gives Stone a bit of an edge.”
This year, the festival has grown, surpassing its size from previous years with more stalls and more events than ever before. Amongst the stalls were local brewers, and sponsors of the festival, Lymestone Brewery.
Viv Bradford, 55, director of the Stone-based brewery said: “We’re celebrating 10 years of being in business this year. When we first came to Stone people were very welcoming to us and that support has continued.
“It’s the same when you come here to the show – it’s very welcoming and a fantastic place to be.”
The Ten Green Bottles Co (10GB), a gin and craft beer retailer with bars in Stone and Newcastle-under-Lyme, also attended the festival.
James Froggatt, 49, director of 10GB, has returned to Stone Food and Drink Festival to trade for a second year. He said: “Last year was such a success we thought we’d come again this year.
“Over the weekend we are selling our parma violet gin, which is very popular. We also have our rhubarb gin and signature Poppy Rose cocktail.
“We are also up-cycling our old gin bottles to make lamps, as well as selling tea and coffee. Hopefully there is something for everyone here.”
There really is something for everyone at the festival, from children’s craft and circus skills, to cooking demonstrations and master classes.
Some stall holders have travelled a little further afield to attend the festival.
Mark Cookson, owner of Flamin’ Rooster in Worcester, returned to trade for the fourth year in a row.
He said: “If the weather holds up it will be a really good show. Most of the people around here put their wellies and coats on and still come out to enjoy the weekend.”
Festival-goers have been taking everything in and getting a flavour of what Stone’s local businesses have to offer.
Mr McKenzie, 48, from Stone, returned again this year. He said: “The festival seems more spacious this year.
“I’ve already sampled some of Lee Walker’s Hog Roast, which was very nice. I’ve also been inside and had some tea and cake too.
“If it doesn’t rain over the weekend and it gets busy it will be great.”
You can still book your tickets for the festival here.