AROUND 8,000 people attended the Lymington Seafood Festival over the bank holiday weekend which organisers hailed as a “fantastic event”.
The celebration of fish, shellfish and more was a feast for the public while also helping local businesses, as it was held amid measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Organiser Richard Nowell told the A&T: “I lost count of people who came up and told me how much they were enjoying the event and having a bit of normality again.
“Everyone said they felt completely safe. We really worked hard with New Forest District Council and Hampshire County Council to ensure all guidelines were followed and, in the end, they even congratulated us on an event well managed.”
Mr Nowell, of Lighthouse Marketing, said he hoped the success of the seafood festival would encourage other companies to hold events.
He said: “We have shown it can be done and that people really want to attend them. Also, it was a huge boost for the businesses there.
“Some of the ones that would normally have been at the festival have gone bankrupt, or their owners have decided for the moment to do some other kind of job like bar work, as there are hardly any events happening.
“We had businesses thanking us, saying that what they had taken over the weekend would see them through to Christmas.
“It was lovely to know that for some of them our little festival meant they can keep going for a few months.”
At the festival there were around 30-40 types of seafood on offer with many stall holders having sold out by bank holiday Monday.
Michael and Dianne Green, from Lymington, said: “It is so nice to be able to get out to an event and to see so many happy people after the awful year everyone has had.”
Partick and Gillian Turner, also from Lymington, said: “It’s been a smashing day and so nice to see people enjoying themselves.
“The event is nicely spaced out so not too crowded, and people have been kind and well behaved.”