THUNDER and rain could not dampen the spirits of thousands of festival-goers in Worcester city centre this afternoon.

The Worcester Foodie Festival, which started yesterday, and will continue until tomorrow, saw 69 food and drink stalls lining the streets.

Visitors sampled and bought a large variety of local produce as well as delicious food from selected specialists.

About a quarter of stallholders are businesses, based in the city centre.

So far today has seen cooking demonstrations celebrity chefs Richard Fox and Jean-Christophe Novelli as well as masterclasses from The Old Pheasant, Bodega and Cosy Club. 

In addition, Wayland's Yard held an art competition and Martin Mills and Roy McDonald presented their food and drink matching sessions. 

Speaking on the weather, marketing and events manager Nadja von Dahlen-Andrews said: "Celebrity chef Jean-Christophe Novelli has got members of the audience on the stage and he is just carrying on cooking.

"The rain didn’t stop the show. People are still in town and enjoying what is going on.

"The forecast tomorrow is a dry day, which is a good opportunity for people to come or come back if they've been already."

Rain has not stopped play @WorcFoodieFest We just moved the audience onto the back of he stage! @jc_novelli

She added: "It is a great showcase of what Worcester has to offer.

"There are a lot of freebies on offer and 26 businesses are offering special offers and competitions."

Speaking about the festival to the Worcester News celebrity chef Jean-Christophe Novelli said: "It's amazing, year after year it always seems to get bigger and better."

Attendee Sue Shephard said: "It is really good. It is nice to have something going on in the town centre."

Worcester resident, Allan Byallas said: "It's a fantastic event. I'm really pleased with the square."

Richard Reynolds, of Barbourne Cider, said: "The square is really great.

"It is really good for Worcester to have an annual food festival."

Hannah Gordon, of Carluccio's Worcester, said: "It is going really well and there is a really nice atmosphere."

David Chill, off Mr Chill's Traditional Sweet Emporium, said: "There a lot of people out really enojoying Worcester."

Tomorrow's entertainment will include further demonstrations from Richard Fox, Lizzy Hughes will be exhibiting range of vegan and vegetarian delights, and Cosy Club, the Old Pheasant, Bottles Wine Bar and Wayland’s Yard will be carrying out further master classes.

Martin Mills and Roy McDonald are presenting more of their food and drink matching sessions.