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PICTURES: Bumper crowds at Lymington Seafood Festival over hottest weekend of the year

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THOUSANDS of people descended on Lymington during the hottest weekend of the year for the town's annual seafood festival.

The popular three-day event – one of the few to go ahead this summer amid Covid restrictions – at Bath Road recreation ground attracted bumper crowds with its huge array of seafood and live music and comedy acts across two stages.

Around 90% of the food and drink producers at the festival were from Hampshire, with a particular focus on the New Forest, and the pop-up Bream on the Green restaurant was run by New Milton-based SO41 Catering.

International flavours were also thrown into the mix, with Mauritian street food and South American, Thai, Indian and Caribbean cuisine.

Crowds enjoyed an expanded entertainment line-up this year, the highlight of which was Saturday's headline act, Ultimate Elton & The Rocket Band - the UK's leading Elton John tribute band.

A second performance stage featured buskers and comedy street acts, which as well as promoting young talented musicians also helped to disperse crowds across the site to ensure social distancing.

As temperatures soared, the festival's bars - stocked with chilled tipples including award-winning English sparkling wine from Hattingley Valley in Arlesford, gold medal gins and rums - offered some welcome relief.

This year, the festival raised funds for Lymington Sailability, which takes the less able bodied out onto the Solent, teaching them how to sail and providing a life-changing freedom.

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