KENDAL town centre was a hub of happiness today as people filled the streets to stuff their faces at the annual food festival.

Bigger and better than last year, the first day of the weekend event was a great success, with many producers completely sold out of their goodies.

Highgate, Finkle Street and Branthwaite Brow were graced with a variety of stall holders selling everything from chilli sauce to chocolate brownies to pork pies and gin.

Kendal Town Hall was host to ‘McClure’s Best of Cumbria’ stage, which featured demonstrations from Rogan and Company chef Kevin Tickle, Robert Stacey from The Castle Dairy and ITV Britain’s Best Bakery chef Peter Sidwell.

Peter took the opportunity to browse the stalls before he took to the stage.

He said: “It’s a hive of activity here which is just what you want, it’s great! These guys consistently come out and deliver fantastic produce. It’s the best way to bring it to life – to get the goods out on the street and get people tasting.”

There was also masterclasses, talks and tastings taking place at The Shakespeare Centre, including those from Martin Gott of Cartmel Cheeses and The Hawkshead Relish Company.

Rosie Anderson, from Northumberland, said she thought the cheese demonstration was ‘fantastic’.

“It was so interesting and great to taste a variety of cheeses. I am really impressed with the organisation of the whole festival, we’ve had a really enjoyable time seeing all the different things available.”

And there were chuckles galore at the Family Festival Village in Elephant Yard, where CBBC star Stefan Gates held both an ‘Adventures in Food’ and ‘Edible Bugs’ show.

Children and adults stood stunned as the food adventurer fried an egg on a piece of paper, made custard powder explode and let everyone experience a taste of the bug life.

He said afterwards: “The noise from the audience was genuinely louder than what I have ever heard before, they were all great. ”

The fun continues tomorrow with headliners The Meringue Girls showing how to be creative with the high street’s next biggest craze – the meringue.

Other demonstrations will include the wonders of chocolate with Gavin of the Famous Chocolate Shop, simply smoking food with Jo Hampson of Smoky Jo’s and a tutored whisky tasting.

And for those that do like a tipple, the Brewery Arts Centre will carry on today’s successful beer festival.

For more information visit