ERRATIC weather could not dampen the spirits of thousands of festival-goers in Worcester city centre this weekend.

The three-day Worcester Foodie Festival, which ran from Friday to Sunday, saw 69 food and drink stalls lining High Street and the £20m Cathedral Square.

Rain and thunder on Saturday threatened to stop the show, but visitors continued to enjoy the festivities, so much so that many traders sold out.

The rain came while celebrity chef Jean-Christophe Novelli was carrying out a cookery demonstration, and rather than stopping, he invited members of the audience to the stage to stay dry, and continued cooking.

The event saw cooking demonstrations from celebrity chefs Richard Fox, Jean-Christophe Novelli, Lizzy Hughes as well as masterclasses by local businesses.

There was also live music from Ewan Pollock, Poppy WS, Worcester Ukulele Club, Polly Edwards, Chris Hutchinson, Ruben Seabright, Chip Langley and Cookie.

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

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."

Worcester's deputy mayor Jabba Riaz said: "It was great to welcome chef Jean Christophe to Worcester in front of the magnificent Cathedral Square, the square was designed so that we could got events like these.

"Despite the showers many people showed up to try the many varieties of food and goods on offer.

"It is important that we support our independent traders and the Worcester good festival gives them the opportunity to promote themselves.

"I thank the Bid and the city council, for organising another great event."

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

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

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

Worcester BID has delivered the Foodie Festival for four years, with the amount of stallholder almost doubling in that time.

Erica Burlace, Crowngate Shopping Centre Manager and a BID director/chairman, said: What a fantastic achievement.

"This is a fantastic opportunity to showcase the superb retail and leisure Worcester City Centre has to offer in a unique and tranquil environment.

"A big thank you to the BID team for all their efforts in putting together and growing this event; it is bringing is one step closer to being the destination of choice for retail and leisure in the Midlands."