The Wiggins and Cavendish effect may have brought the crowds out around the region today but, at the Norfolk Showground, the prospect of lots of local produce seemed just as big a draw.

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Thousands of people flocked to the Taste the Best of Norfolk Food and Drink Festival which took place alongside the Tour of Britain finish line event in Norwich.

Richard Woolliams, chairman of the EDP Adnams Norfolk Food and Drink Festival, in association with Norfolk County Council, said he had counted at least 1,500 people in the Norfolk Showground Arena at 10.30am – half an hour before the event was supposed to begin.

He said: “We knew there would be a lot of people and we weren’t disappointed. This is absolutely outstanding.”

Mr Woolliams, who organised the new event with festival co-ordinator Clare Millar and Jane Miller, of Produced in Norfolk, thanked visitors for being so “good natured” after the popularity of the 12 local concessions saw some people queuing for up to 35 minutes for a bite to eat.

Food lovers and cycling enthusiasts made the most of the 50 food and drink stalls on offer as well as food-related arts and crafts for children from Creation Station, Mary Kemp’s cookery theatre and chef Chris Coubrough and butcher Arthur Howell’s Marvellous Sausage Making Competition.

The Meehan family, from King’s Lynn, including Lewis, three, and Finley, six, and their cousins the Thompson family, including seven-year-old Anna and four-year-old Emily, from Brundall, said they enjoyed the day.

Lewis and Finley’s mother Karen said: “We came here mainly to see the cyclists but the food and drink festival is a big draw. We’ve had some Norfolk hot dogs and burgers for lunch, the children have had milkshakes, and the men have had quite a lot of Adnams.”

The youngsters took part in the sausage-making competition, putting leek, sweetcorn and fruit in their recipe.

Two teams of children were chosen as winners of the contest by judges Mr Woolliams and Roger Human from Battle of the Bangers winner Tavern Tasty Meats. They will all get to enjoy a meal at one of Mr Coubrough’s Flying Kiwi Inns.

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